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Will 2015 be the year Spain’s legal industry improves or will it be the case of same old, same old?

Posted by: Laurence Simons 18/03/15

With accelerated growth in Q4 of 2014, the Spanish economy is certainly looking a lot more positive now than it has done in the last few years. Improving from a growth rate of 0.5% in Q3 of 2014 to 0.7% in the final quarter, Spain’s economy gave a much needed surprise boost to the Eurozone’s fourth largest economy. This positive impact will eventually make its way to the legal industry; when this will happen is simply a matter of time.

The In-house market

Whilst the Spanish economy is improving, albeit at a slow rate, our clients have expressed concerns that not a lot changed throughout 2014 compared to 2013. Sourcing talent with the right expertise and the need to do more with less budget are still the two main issues businesses face. 2015 is already painting a similar picture. On a more positive note, of the Spanish-based respondents to our survey, the vast majority received a bonus in 2014.

However, it’s interesting to note that their bonus level remained the same as the previous year and the response as to whether they were satisfied was mixed. Despite the challenges facing the Spanish economy, lawyers in Spain feel confident in their job security and they plan to remain in the same industry according to our survey.

An interesting theme we noticed from the responses to our survey was the mixture of both positive and negative outlooks when it came to the future of the economy, willingness to relocate and whether lawyers will change jobs in 2015.

Private Practice

Despite Spain being the fourth largest economy in the Eurozone, their economic growth is relatively slow compared to its European counterparts. However, in 2014 the economy advanced 1.6%, the highest growth rate in more than six years, so there are encouraging signs.

Notwithstanding the high unemployment levels in Spain, the overall economic situation seems to be improving and the severe measures taken by the current government appear to be paying dividends.

However, it will take some time before the country fully recovers. In the legal sector, as expected, salary levels continued, for the most part, to balance out throughout 2014, following a general decline in 2013. Compensation for lawyers in Spanish now amongst the lowest in Europe and, unfortunately for those in the market, this doesn’t appear to be improving in the near future.