Legal Sector Salaries Set to Climb in 2022

Legal Sector Salaries Set to Climb in 2022

It’s no secret that many sectors are facing severe wage inflation with many locked in ongoing battles to retain their best staff. Indeed, as the economy begins to open up as Omicron-related restrictions are eased, many legal firms in particular are facing a backlog of demand for services which were delayed during the pandemic. A recent survey by recruitment consultancy firm Robert Walters found that many in the professional services sector are planning to increase their pay rise budget by 10-15% in 2022. These sort of levels have only been seen in recent times when inflation has been much higher than currently reported.

 

New hires receive increased salary offers

The current success of the Covid-19 vaccine programme and the gradual easing of restrictions in 2021 had an understandably positive effect on business confidence. However, as demand for services increases, a shortage of candidates combined with bottled-up demand for people and renewed investment now means a power shift towards candidates as firms work even harder to convince the best talent to join them. Inevitably that has meant an increase in salary offers which can have a domino effect on existing pay structures.

 

Existing employees also set for pay rises

Whilst new employees are seeing increased salary offers to convince them to join, many existing employees’ salaries have not increased as rapidly over the past 12-18 months. However, this is expected to change throughout 2022 at most levels with some significant increases expected. Recent reports have also found that existing staff are being put under increasing pressure due to staff shortages which can lead to time off work or even looking for alternate opportunities, compounding the issue.

 

What do professional staff look for?

Over the past two years, the main questions potential joiners want answered center around remote working, flexible working arrangements, holiday entitlement, and compensation. In professional services, the trend has been toward compensation packages, especially in the past 6-12 months where many recruits take the ability to remote work and flexible hours as expected, especially in the legal sector where many roles can be done through a combination of on-site and off-site working.

 

How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of solicitor accountants at our offices in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton.  We act for a large number of law firms across all three of our offices and offer a wide range of services which are tailored to meet their individual needs. Our legal client base consists of a multitude of firms of varying structure and size, from sole traders to limited companies and LLPs with corporate members.

Our understanding of the unique issues that many in the sector are facing, combined with our technical experience, allows our solicitor specialists to provide you with proactive, commercial and informed accountancy and tax advice.

More from our legal sector experts

You can find all of our latest legal sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

Free initial meeting

Simon Bladen

Partner, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

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SRA seeks greater fining power

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The SRA proposes to end indemnity cover for retired solicitors

The SRA proposes to end indemnity cover for retired solicitors

The SRA has proposed to end the provision of post-six-year run-off cover because they judge the protection as disproportionately expensive. Run-off cover is insurance for claims made against a law firm after it has stopped doing business. This change would mean that the Solicitors Indemnity Fund would effectively close. Indemnity insurance protects solicitors against claims of possible negligence or failure to perform. However, if the Solicitors Indemnity Fund were to close the remaining funds would be handed to the Law Society.

If this were to happen and run-off insurance was to end, the profession would be left with two choices. The first would be to ask solicitors to pay for cover to reduce the expense. The second would be to leave retired practitioners to deal with any and all claims themselves.

Based upon the last ten tears, the SRA’s forecasts show that an average of 31 clients are likely to gain from the Solicitors Indemnity Fund each year. This results in an average of £34,600 being paid out which includes defense costs. Up to £2.4m a year will be required from the profession to continue the ongoing funding to the Solicitors Indemnity Fund each year. This expense would most likely be passed onto clients.

The SRA feels that they cannot keep extending the Solicitors Indemnity Fund as they have done in recent years. There will be a 12-week consultation where a discussion will be had about what will happen with the remaining reserves of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund if the six-year run-off cover is no longer provided. Transferring the remaining funds to the Law Society would at least enable them to use the funds to benefit the profession.

 

How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of solicitor accountants at our offices in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton.

We act for a large number of law firms across all three of our offices and offer a wide range of services which are tailored to meet their individual needs. Our legal client base consists of a multitude of firms of varying structure and size, from sole traders to limited companies and LLPs with corporate members.

Our understanding of the unique issues that many in the sector are facing, combined with our technical experience, allows our solicitor specialists to provide you with proactive, commercial and informed accountancy and tax advice.

Free initial meeting

Simon Bladen

Partner, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

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SRA seeks greater fining power

SRA seeks greater fining power

The SRA is proposing a major increase in their fining powers and has developed a new fast track system for ‘fixed penalties’ for low-level offenses. The SRA has begun a consultation on increasing the maximum fine they can issue to law firms from £2,000 to £25,000. In...

SRA seeks greater fining power

SRA seeks greater fining power

The SRA is proposing a major increase in their fining powers and has developed a new fast track system for ‘fixed penalties’ for low-level offenses.

The SRA has begun a consultation on increasing the maximum fine they can issue to law firms from £2,000 to £25,000. In addition, they are also considering taking into account the firm’s income when setting out fines. This will enable the SRA to penalise larger firms up to a limit of 5% of their annual turnover and aligns with some other regulatory bodies. Furthermore, senior equity partners would face much larger fines for breaching rules than junior solicitors for similar rule breaches. Therefore, larger firms and more responsible employees will be punished to a greater extent for breaching the rules.

Finings powers have been an issue with SRA for some time now. The £2,000 limit currently in place means that more serious cases must be dealt with by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal which increases costs significantly. It is argued that raising the limit to £25,000 should significantly reduce costs and speed up the process.

The SRA says that increasing its fining powers for ‘fixed penalties’ would enable them to deal with lower-level misconduct much more easily and effectively. Which would provide them with greater transparency and consistency with how they apply penalties. Solicitors will be able to appeal any decisions made.

Fixed penalties may be suitable in situations where there has been non-compliance with the ombudsman, failure to undertake administrative activity, or breaches where the act is not specific to a certain client or individual.

The SRA will be inviting feedback on the current consultation proposals for the period to 11 February 2022.

 

How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of solicitor accountants at our offices in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton.

Our dedicated team fully understands the complex, ever-changing regulatory requirements of the charity and not-for-profit sector. Irrespective of your size we wish to support you to maximise the benefits you could achieve through our specialist professional advice.

Charities & not-for-profit organisations are currently facing extensive changes in their regulatory and legal framework. Given the additional pressures on fundraising, complex tax regimes, internal risk exposure, and stakeholder demands, it has never been more important to obtain specialist professional advice.

Free initial meeting

Simon Bladen

Partner, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

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Has the pandemic resulted in Brits donating more to charity?

Has the pandemic resulted in Brits donating more to charity?

According to a recent survey, 34% of British people commented that the pandemic has resulted in them being more generous to charities. In its Generosity and Giving 2021 report, Paypal surveyed 2,000 respondents. The survey found that the pandemic increased people’s motivation to support charities. The most popular types of charities to donate to were:

  • Animal Welfare (22%)
  • Hospital and Hospices (21%)
  • Homelessness (21%)
  • Mental health care (21%)

Interestingly, despite this increase in generosity, 60% of those surveyed said that they would never volunteer themselves for a charity.

 

Geographical generosity

Paypal’s study found that Scottish people are the most generous with Aberdeen being the most generous city in the UK. It was found that on average British people donate £103.41 per year to charities they care about. In Aberdeen, this figure is almost double the national average at £193.76 per year. Edinburgh (£138.38) and Liverpool (£125.64) were the next most generous cities in Britain.

 

How generous do we think we are?

31% of respondents believe that that they are generous but 24% feel that they could be more generous still.

The survey found that the top reasons for not being more generous were:

  • Money worries (28%)
  • Increasing cost of living (25%)
  • Covid-19 lockdown measures (23%)
  • Donors being concerned about how charities are spending the money (19%)

 

Increase in virtual giving

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Paypal’s report found that online donations are increasing as 24% of adults are using online platforms such as JustGiving and GOFundMe to raise money for charity. Younger people are much more likely to donate via this method as 54% of GenZ and 38% of Millennials donate via this method.

 

 

Future of charitable giving

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused British people to be more generous with donations which can only be a positive for the sector as a whole. Furthermore, the trend in increased virtual giving makes it far easier for people to donate as fewer people continue to carry cash. Overall, it is perhaps not surprising that the survey showed an increase in giving. One of the few positives of the pandemic has been to reinforce how important charities are to society. Hopefully the advances in the means of giving will ensure the uplift continues going forward.

 

How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of charity and not-for-profit accountants in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton.

At Hawsons we recognise that not-for-profit organisations have very different requirements from other businesses and are currently exposed to a challenging economic climate.

Our dedicated team fully understands the complex, ever-changing regulatory requirements of the charity and not-for-profit sector. Irrespective of your size we wish to support you to maximise the benefits you could achieve through our specialist professional advice.

Charities & not-for-profit organisations are currently facing extensive changes in their regulatory and legal framework. Given the additional pressures on fundraising, complex tax regimes, internal risk exposure, and stakeholder demands, it has never been more important to obtain specialist professional advice.

Free initial meeting

Simon Bladen

Partner, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

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91% of English and Welsh Charities not Anticipating Redundancies Next Year

91% of English and Welsh Charities not Anticipating Redundancies Next Year

New research from the Covid-19 Survey 2021 (published by the Charity Commission) has found that 91% of charities do not plan to make any staff redundancies over the next 12 months. The same percentage of charities revealed that Covid-19 has impacted them negatively (as expected) however most made less than a quarter of their staff redundant.

For charities, the largest issue the pandemic has caused has been a hit to services and delivery (85%).

Almost 60% of survey respondents said that planned work and events had been cancelled due to the pandemic, as the majority lost income from charitable activities (60%).

 

Charities frustrated by uncertainty

The general consensus was that charities were frustrated by the uncertainty of when their operations could return to a level of ‘pre-covid’ normality. To help counteract this some charities decided to adapt their services during the restrictions while others used their financial reserves and paused operations temporarily.

 

What about the future?

Over a third of charities predict that they will generate less revenue in 2022 from donations and fundraising. Many charities foresee their immediate financial viability under threat over the next 12 months. This could see some charities forced to make more tough decisions in the short term to ensure their future.

20% of charities have accessed funding support via their local authorities and 14% via national government schemes. Respondents said that additional clarity on funding and how to access it would be beneficial, going forward.

 

Positives

Whilst the pandemic presented many challenges for charities, positives can be taken. Many have increased their use of digital technology and streamlined their operations to increase the frequency of online events and digital giving. Others have taken the opportunity to improve infrastructure in a period where they could never have anticipated so much downtime and are now better positioned to deliver their services. Overall, the sector has proven itself to be resilient and adaptive to a changing environment which should give confidence as we move into 2022.

 

How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of charity and not-for-profit accountants at our offices in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton.

Our dedicated team fully understands the complex, ever-changing regulatory requirements of the charity and not-for-profit sector. Irrespective of your size we wish to support you to maximise the benefits you could achieve through our specialist professional advice.

Charities & not-for-profit organisations are currently facing extensive changes in their regulatory and legal framework. Given the additional pressures on fundraising, complex tax regimes, internal risk exposure, and stakeholder demands, it has never been more important to obtain specialist professional advice.

More from our charity experts

You can find all of our latest charity sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

Free initial meeting

Simon Bladen

Partner, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

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UK Voluntary Sector Workforce Grew 20% in the Past Decade

UK Voluntary Sector Workforce Grew 20% in the Past Decade

Figures from the UK Civil Society Almanac 2021 show that the UK voluntary sector workforce has increased by 20% over the past decade. In addition, the report showed that income for the voluntary sector hit record levels in the 2018/19 financial year.

The statistics show that the number of employees working in the voluntary sector increased from 792,000 in September 2010 to 952,000 in September 2020. The growth in the voluntary sector was higher than growth in both the private and public sectors which saw 16% and 3% increases respectively over the same period.

Statistics from the NGVO demonstrate that in the year to September 2020 the workforce in the UK voluntary sector increased by 32,000 (3%) despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The proportion of the UK population employed by the UK voluntary sector has remained at a consistent 3% over the 10-year period.

In the 2018/19 financial year, the annual income for the UK voluntary sector hit a new record of £56bn, an increase of £800m compared to the previous financial year. Despite the fact that the government’s contribution decreased by £300m.

These statistics are a promising sign for the UK voluntary sector as this demonstrates steady growth before the pandemic hit. However, the full effects of the pandemic may not have been truly realised and it is currently unknown whether the sector will return to a similar level than before the pandemic.

 

How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of charity accountants at our offices in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton.

Our dedicated team fully understands the complex, ever-changing regulatory requirements of the charity and not-for-profit sector. Irrespective of your size we wish to support you to maximise the benefits you could achieve through our specialist professional advice.

Charities & not-for-profit organisations are currently facing extensive changes in their regulatory and legal framework. Given the additional pressures on fundraising, complex tax regimes, internal risk exposure, and stakeholder demands, it has never been more important to obtain specialist professional advice.

Free initial meeting

Simon Bladen

Partner, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

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Autumn Budget 2021

Budget 2021 The Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented his third Budget on 27 October 2021. In his speech he set out the plans to "build back better" with ambitions to level up and reduce regional inequality. Main Budget proposals Tax measures include: a new temporary...