London Market Update – Autumn 2019

26th September 2019 / Market Updates

UK St Paul's Cathedral

With the summer in England coming to a close the politicians back into parliament and with Brexit still looming, whether you are pro remain or pro leave I think most around Europe would like this situation resolved.

We can already see an impact in the United Kingdom, with political unrest and a divide between the people. The pound has dropped in value and a lot of companies are planning their future and setting up new locations around Europe. Having said this, London still appears to be the central hub for design and architecture, although recruitment a little clunky and there is hesitation and caution, which must be due to Brexit. A lot of the work does appear to be contractor lead which is throwing a slightly different spin on the way we work as specialist design and architectural recruiters and some design and architectural professionals are looking at different career paths and working client side or for a contractor rather than a design studio or architects.

UK reflection

With our clients setting up in other European cities, whilst maintaining their head office in London, this is exciting for us at JaK as most of our overseas work before has been in the Middle East and South East Asia. Now we can travel closer to home. The busy locations right now appear to be Zurich, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Dublin.

The team at JaK has traveled to Amsterdam twice this year to assist with the set up and recruitment of 2 new offices for existing UK companies. Amsterdam is an exciting and busy city and salaries appear to be comparable to London. A nice incentive for an expat moving to Holland is that you get 30% of your salary tax free, although tax rises to 52%, which is higher than in the UK.


Having said this the design and architectural sectors in the UK, especially London do appear to be doing fairly well, whether this is a Brexit dividend it is hard to say. There has been a little uncertainty with co working serviced offices, but this sector in general is still very busy and commercial office design and fit-out is still as busy as ever.

Salaries have not dropped and still remain at a good level, although if moving to England from overseas with the drop in the pound the salary in England might not be as appealing as before.

We do have to remain optimistic and hopefully there will be political and Brexit resolve shortly.

Oliver Tidmarsh

Partner – JaK Consulting London

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