The 2019 Global In-House Report is an overview of hiring trends from a variety of sources, from the local knowledge of experienced consultants to our regional salary guides through to general market sentiment derived from interviews with senior contacts.
Below is an extract from the Middle East section. The full report contains market insights for Germany, BeNeLux, Italy, Turkey, South Africa, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom and North America.
The Middle East Legal Market
Hiring in the UAE has, for the past two years, been very focused at the mid-level, providing a boom for lawyers in the 3-10 year PQE bracket, but providing a challenging environment for the expat population who began their Middle east career journeys in the mid-2000s. In simple terms, there are less General Counsel roles coming to market, which is explained by two dovetailing factors. Those already in senior roles are choosing to stay put, preferring to rely on the security of their current role rather than jumping to something less ‘certain’, meaning less natural attrition and movement between companies. Companies also have a greater focus on cost which has led to a pullback in terms of salary packages.
This suits a strategy of hiring less experienced lawyers. This trend of focusing on midlevel lawyers and ‘stretching’ their capabilities is indicative of businesses being more commercial with their hiring decisions, and eking out as much value from their hires as they can. Surely a sign of a fast-maturing market, and also a reflection of international companies attempting to maintain pay-parity between their global legal teams.