2 MICHAEL PAGE LEGAL SALARY SURVEY
WHAT WAS THE MAIN FACTOR The Michael Page Legal Salary Survey 06/07 Employment activity in the legal sector is
CONTRIBUTING TO THE PAYMENT provides a detailed insight into employment continuing at a consistent level following
OF YOUR BONUS?
trends, salary levels and business expectations the tightening labour market of 2005. We
The majority of bonuses were across the legal sector in Australia. Our data anticipate demand to continue for the year
discretionary as opposed to a ﬁxed has been gathered from our extensive market ahead in light of positive economic conditions,
percentage of salary. Where bonuses exposure, client surveys across a broad high levels of business investment and the
were a ﬁxed percentage, company spectrum of leading corporations, as well resulting requirement for legal advice from
performance and achieving individual as an analysis of placements over the both private practice and in-house resources.
KPIs were the main determining factors. last 12 months.
Private law ﬁrms have been recruiting lawyers
4% The survey covers the New South Wales with specialist knowledge in areas such as
and Victoria markets across our key corporate/M&A, construction, real estate,
industry groups: technology, banking and ﬁnancial services.
Quality performers at 3–6 years post admission
Private Practice experience (PAE) are in highest demand
• Top tier although the senior associate market is
53% • Mid-tier also positive.
In-house The in-house market is performing well with
• Commerce & Industry the highest demand for junior to mid-level
• Banking & Financial Services lawyers. Growth is most pronounced in the
• Compliance areas of construction, real estate, technology
53% – Meeting KPIs and targets and telecommunications.
32% – Overall company performance Global Trends
6% – Team performance • Hong Kong Continued pressure from the international
4% – Don’t know how it is determined • United Kingdom
5% – Other
market is having a major impact on local
talent shortages across the board. Demand
The survey should be used as a guide only.
from the United Kingdom has intensiﬁed and
If you require any speciﬁc or personalised
lucrative opportunities are on the rise in the
advice please contact us directly.
Middle East, United States and Asia. The
I wish to thank everyone who contributed global market for Australian lawyers is at its
to this year’s publication and to those who strongest level in years and this will continue
have worked with us throughout the year. to exacerbate domestic labour shortages.
I encourage your feedback and invite you
Strong employment demand in the legal
to contact us for further information or
sector will see average salaries increase
speciﬁc market advice.
between 5%–8% over the following 12
months. These levels may be exceeded to
reward exceptional levels of performance
or as part of strategic retention initiatives.
Managing Director, Australia
Michael Page International
t 02 8292 2000
MICHAEL PAGE LEGAL SALARY SURVEY 3
SURVEY 2006 KEY FINDINGS FROM THIS STUDY:
The Michael Page National Employment Survey Employer Trends Employee Trends
looks at recruitment trends and expectations • 24% of employers listed new projects as the • When asked to nominate the main reason
in the Australian labour market. The survey main business focus for the year ahead, with for their last job change, 30% of respondents
provides employers and employees with an 23% highlighting organic growth. listed career advancement, 15% listed
• Over the next 12 months, 88% of employers redundancy and 12% highlighted travel.
insight into market conditions and expectations.
expect staff numbers to remain the same • 52% of respondents have worked overseas
In March 2006 the survey was sent to over or increase. The main reasons for growth and of this group 74% said they would
35,000 employers via email. Respondents are business expansion and additional consider working overseas again.
were in middle to senior management positions project work. • Of those who said they would work overseas,
from a variety of industry sectors throughout • When asked for the main reasons for staff 35% listed their biggest motivator would be
Australia. All respondents had previously turnover in the last year, 40% reported either career advancement and 22% said
sourced temporary or permanent staff career advancement or increased salary. life/cultural change.
through Michael Page. • 80% of respondents stated staff retention • 56% of respondents said they would be likely
was a key focus for their company this year. to use a career change as a way to increase
We also sent the survey to 25,000 Australian • 74% of employers surveyed acknowledged their salary rather than progressing in the
employees via email. Respondents were from that bonuses were important in retaining staff. same role.
all industry sectors and have either been However, only 17% reported their company • 31% of awarded bonuses were between
placed or are still looking for a role through had adopted this as a strategy, preferring to 6% and 10% of annual salary, with 23%
Michael Page. invest in training and development and ﬂexible of bonuses between 2% and 5%.
working arrangements. • The majority of bonuses were discretionary
When reading the survey please bear in • 71% of employers acknowledged that they as opposed to a ﬁxed percentage of salary.
mind the commentary relates to white-collar have used or would use a temporary resource • Over 65% of respondents felt they were being
employment across the industries in which or contractor as part of their workforce. The adequately rewarded for hard work and loyalty,
we operate. major reason for using contractors was for with only 10% feeling they were rewarded well
special projects. below average.
• 30% of employers thought that ﬂexible work • As in previous years, ﬂexible working hours
hours would be the most important incentive and bonuses are the most popular incentives.
for staff, whereas 25% of employees said it
was receiving bonuses. • 70% of all surveyed are using the Internet
at some point in their job search.
• 63% of respondents expected salary
increases between 2% and 10%.
0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30%
ACTUAL INCENTIVES VS. Flexible working hours
As in previous years, bonuses
and ﬂexible working hours are the
preferred incentives for employees. Time off in lieu
Whilst employers are responding to
this, the actual levels of incentives
being offered are still falling Parking
Paid maternity/Paternity leave
Unpaid maternity/Paternity leave
Actual incentives offered Preferred incentives
4 MICHAEL PAGE LEGAL SALARY SURVEY
PRIVATE PRACTICE PERMANENT RECRUITMENT
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR MAIN Firms remain in ﬁerce competition for quality
MARKET OVERVIEW candidates in the areas of corporate, real estate,
REASON TO WORK OVERSEAS?
Private ﬁrms are continuing to recruit high banking and ﬁnancial services. Within these
Of those who said they would work calibre lawyers as we move through 2006. The industries the strongest demand is for lawyers
overseas, 35% listed their biggest strength of the Australian economy and quality at 3–6 years PAE. Increasingly, lawyers with
motivator would be career advancement of corporate performances have created an as little as two years PAE are taking overseas
and 22% said life/cultural change. environment of optimism and high levels of opportunities and this is spurring activity at more
investment. This economic activity is good news junior levels.
for private practice and we predict continued
11% Recruitment activity is also increasing in the
22% demand and growth over the coming year.
IT&T industries which have rebounded strongly
Domestic activity is also being driven by the in both 2005 and 2006, spurring demand for
exodus of Australian lawyers to overseas licensing and regulatory lawyers.
markets like the United Kingdom and Middle
11% East. Locations such as Dubai are experiencing The construction industry remains buoyant
tremendous growth in areas such as construction, following growth in the infrastructure market
property development and natural resources. through large scale projects such as private-
public-partnerships (PPPs). We have also
Local ﬁrms are adopting a practical approach witnessed a moderate increase in demand for
35% to the issue of global competition. Rather than employment lawyers after the introduction of
attempting to throw money at the problem, Work Choices and the resulting changes to the
22% – Life/Cultural change
ﬁrms are supporting moves overseas where industrial relations landscape.
11% – More money
35% – Career advancement/Experience applicable in the interest of maintaining a
17% – Travel opportunities positive relationship. It is a long-term strategy CONTRACT RECRUITMENT
11% – None, I wouldn’t consider to keep options open and secure the loyalty The contracting market in private practice is
4% – Other
of returnees who bring back with them valuable limited. Historically, ﬁrms prefer to recruit on a
global experience. permanent basis and the reality is that the vast
majority of lawyers want full-time careers.
In relation to salary trends for the year
ahead, high quality lawyers with sought after The main area in which we are seeing contract
experience will always be in demand and opportunities is when ﬁrms hire a number of
KEY MARKET TRENDS rewarded accordingly. Our forecast is for para-legals to handle peaks in workload during
wage inﬂation of 5%–8% as a standard, speciﬁc assignments. The contracts on offer are
Private Practice with 10%–12% for hard to ﬁnd skill sets. typically between three and six months.
• Business investment and growth
increasing opportunities for In the majority of circumstances salary increases
private ﬁrms will be awarded to lawyers as they move up
• Domestic candidate shortages salary bands to reﬂect their higher charge out
exacerbated by lawyers taking rates and levels of experience.
• Only moderate increase in demand
for employment lawyers following PRIVATE PRACTICE SALARY TABLE 2006
Work Choices State NSW VIC
Salary $’000 $’000
Commerce & Industry
• In-house capabilities being expanded
Years since admission Large ﬁrm Large ﬁrm
and in some instances recruited for
the ﬁrst time Graduate Lawyer 45–60 48–59
• Steady ﬂow of lawyers from private 1st year PQE 50–77 57–68
ﬁrms to in-house market 2nd year PQE 70–87 70–83
• Skills shortage most pronounced 3rd year PQE 75–115 75–95
at the junior level and 5–7 years PAE 4th year PQE 92–140 82–110
5th year PQE 100–155 90–120
5–10 years PQE 110–220+ 110–180+
Special Counsel 160+ 160+
Years since admission Medium ﬁrm Medium ﬁrm
Graduate Lawyer 45–56 42–55
1st year PQE 52–65 52–63
2nd year PQE 60–78 60–72
3rd year PQE 70–85 65–85
4th year PQE 75–105 75–95
5th year PQE 86–110 82–105
5–10 years PQE 100–160+ 90–150+
Special Counsel 140+ 140+
Salaries indicated are inclusive of superannuation, but exclusive of bonus/incentive schemes.
Top tier law ﬁrms are classiﬁed as having 40+ partners.
MICHAEL PAGE LEGAL SALARY SURVEY 5
From a salary perspective we have started positions becoming available. However,
COMMERCE & INDUSTRY to see positive adjustments at the mid to it remains a competitive environment and
MARKET OVERVIEW senior level which have been ﬂat over the last organisations are spoilt for choice with
Favourable economic conditions and few years. As an average across the board numerous lawyers waiting for the opportunity
investment in business development have we anticipate increases of 4%–7% in the to take the next step in their careers.
seen organisations increase their in-house coming year.
capabilities and in many instances recruit PERMANENT RECRUITMENT The vast majority of recruitment activity is for
their ﬁrst in-house counsels.
The permanent recruitment market is performing permanent candidates as employers focus
The reluctance to increase headcount in strongly, particularly in the areas of commercial on building their in-house capabilities for
business support functions has softened services, construction, real estate and technology. the long-term.
and more organisations are realising the The technology industry is a standout and with
numerous projects underway lawyers with Where contract opportunities do arise they
cost efﬁciencies of an internal legal function.
software licensing, contract management and are typically for experienced in-house solicitors
All of this is good news for the in-house
commercial skills are in high demand. with three years plus corporate commercial
market and we predict the positive
experience. Contract lawyers are being used
environment will continue for the year ahead.
There is a skills shortage across the board to support major projects such as mergers
The attraction of a move in-house is a trend although this is most acute at the junior level and and acquisitions, as well as to cover parental
that continues to strengthen for lawyers in also at 5–7 years PAE. High calibre lawyers are leave. In some instances employers are
private practice. Perceived beneﬁts such sought after and employers are well advised turning to the contract market as a means
as reduced administrative requirements and to speed up their hiring decisions or risk losing to source skill sets that are difﬁcult to secure
diversity of work ensure a consistent stream candidates to competitors. Multiple job offers are on a permanent basis.
of candidates for the in-house market. a feature of the current employment market.
Contracts are typically for a period of six
Despite this source of talent, the demand
At the senior end of the market we have months. If the candidate proves themselves
for high quality lawyers still outstrips supply
seen an escalation in recruitment following during the course of the contract an offer of
and there are exciting opportunities for
increased candidate movement and new full-time employment is generally forthcoming.
COMMERCE, INDUSTRY & PUBLIC SECTOR SALARY TABLE 2006
State NSW VIC NSW VIC NSW VIC NSW VIC
Experience 0–2 years 0–2 years 2–5 years 2–5 years 6–10 years 6–10 years 10 years+ 10 years+
Salary $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000
IT/Telecommunications 55–85 50–80 65–137 70–130 120–200 110–180 140–160+ 125–250
Retail/Distribution 50–75 50–75 75–135 70–135 120–200 110–160 120–140+ 130–200
Commercial Services 52–70 50–70 65–110 70–105 105–170 90–140 120–140+ 120–160
Manufacturing 55–75 50–70 60–110 65–110 100–150 100–140 120–140+ 120–160
Energy/Resources 55–75 50–75 70–135 70–120 120–180 90–150 140–160+ 110–180
Property/Construction 55–75 50–75 70–120 70–120 110–180 90–140 150–170+ 120–170
Public Sector 45–68 50–70 50–70 50–75 60–100 70–100 80–100+ 80–110
COMMERCE, INDUSTRY & PUBLIC SECTOR SALARY TABLE 2006 State NSW VIC
State NSW NSW VIC VIC Salary $’000 $’000
Size of company Sml/Med Top 200 Sml/Med Top 200 ASSISTANT COMPANY SECRETARY
Salary $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000 0–2 years 40–60 40–60
GENERAL COUNSEL 4–6 years 60–80 60–80
IT/Telecommunications 140–220 250–350 150–220 220–300 6–10 years 80–120 80–120
Retail/Distribution 175–250 250–350 150–220 200–250 10 years+ 120–150 120–150
Commercial Services 160–220 200–275 150–220 200–250
Manufacturing 160–220 180–300 150–220 180–250
Energy/Resources 220–270 240–350 200–260 250–300
Property/Construction 180–220 250–350 170–220 200–250
Public Sector 125–150 160–200 100–120 120–150
Salaries indicated are inclusive of superannuation, but exclusive of bonus/incentive schemes.
6 MICHAEL PAGE LEGAL SALARY SURVEY
Salary increases in the 10%–15% range
BANKING & are likely for high calibre lawyers in
WHAT WAS THE MAIN REASON FINANCIAL SERVICES investment banking, retail banking and funds
FOR YOUR LAST JOB CHANGE? management as a result of the tightening
labour market. As an industry average
When asked to nominate the main A surging sharemarket and outstanding proﬁt
reason for their last job change, 30% of
however, we anticipate salary increases
results in the banking sector have driven of 3%–5%.
employees listed career advancement,
employment activity to new heights in the ﬁrst
15% listed redundancy and 12%
half of 2006. The Australian Stock Exchange COMPLIANCE
has broken through the 5000 point as an Regulatory changes in areas such as
5% indication of business conﬁdence levels superannuation and anti-money laundering
and the quality of corporate performances. continue the demand for legal professionals.
The crucial business functions that compliance
Demand for lawyers in superannuation and
teams perform are well understood by senior
funds management continues to escalate
8% management and companies are willing to
following the introduction of Super Choice
offer attractive salary packages to secure
on 1 July 2005. Investment banking is another
the services of top performers.
5% growth area for legal professionals and we
anticipate this trend will continue as we move Operational compliance is a particular area
6% 30% through the second half of 2006. of growth. Employers regard compliance
as an integrated business function, not one
12% From a regional perspective we are seeing
1% that simply analyses regulatory changes and
global investment banks choosing Singapore
advises senior management. Compliance
5% – Lifestyle change/Downshifting as their Asia Paciﬁc head ofﬁce. Many of
teams are expected to play a key role in
15% – Redundancy/Retrenchment these organisations are US-based and it is far
30% – Career advancement communicating and implementing regulatory
more cost effective to develop capabilities in
1% – Maternity leave changes across the business. Demand is also
12% – Moved/Gone travelling
Singapore as opposed to the US or UK.
strong for regulatory lawyers with the ability
6% – Change of industries
5% – Disagreement with management It is becoming more common for private ﬁrms to communicate complex requirements to
8% – More money to target in-house lawyers. We predict this the broader business.
18% – Other will increase during the next 12 months and
intensify candidate shortages in the banking
and ﬁnancial services sector.
BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES SALARY TABLE 2006
KEY MARKET TRENDS
State NSW VIC NSW VIC
Banking & Financial Services Salary $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000
• Strong demand for lawyers IN-HOUSE COUNSEL
in superannuation and funds Experience 0–2 years 0–2 years 3–5 years 3–5 years
Insurance 45–72 50–72 60–120 60–100
• Private ﬁrms targeting in-house Funds Management 65–90 60–90 85–150 80–130
lawyers because of tight labour
market Retail Banking 50–90 50–85 75–120 65–110
Investment Banking 60–100 55–85 100–165 75–140
• From regional perspective strong
growth in Singapore as preferred Experience 6–10 years 6–10 years 10 years+ 10 years+
Asia Paciﬁc head ofﬁce for Insurance 100–185 85–140 150–200 100–200
investment banks Funds Management 135–200 100–180 180–250 140–250
• Continued demand in compliance Retail Banking 110–185 140–260 150–220 130–250
to address regulatory changes
Investment Banking 150–220 110–200 200–250 140–250
• Operational compliance a particular
area of growth
State NSW VIC
Salary $’000 $’000
Insurance 200+ 200+
Funds Management 275+ 275+
Retail Banking 300+ 300+
Investment Banking 275+ 250+
Compliance Analyst 60–90 70–85
Compliance Manager 85–130 95–130
Senior Compliance Manager 120–180 120–170
Head of Compliance 160–300 200+
Salaries indicated are inclusive of superannuation, but exclusive of bonus/incentive schemes.
Due to the wide variation of remuneration structures within ﬁnancial institutions the salary levels included are averages only.
MICHAEL PAGE LEGAL SALARY SURVEY 7
GLOBAL TRENDS UNITED KINGDOM HONG KONG SALARY TABLE 2006
BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES Salary HK$’000 per month
The ﬁnancial services sector saw increased COMMERCE & INDUSTRY
BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES activity across the board in 2005, with Newly Qualiﬁed 45–55
Banks have increased their headcount most continued growth in the asset management/ 1 year PQE 50–65
notably in respect of adding derivatives and funds sector in particular. Candidates with
2 years PQE 55–70
corporate ﬁnance lawyers. There has deﬁnitely solid funds experience and in the areas of
been a shortage of derivatives lawyers and 3 years PQE 58–80
derivatives are still in high demand and we
the problem has been exacerbated by banks have seen the market grow signiﬁcantly for 4 years PQE 60–90
requiring these lawyers to have the ability to general capital markets lawyers (both ECM 5 years PQE 65–100
read and write Chinese. This demand has and DCM) in the 1–6 years PQE bracket. 6 years PQE 70–105
not been satisﬁed by the pool of law ﬁrm 7 years PQE 75–125
secondees from which banks traditionally hire. The salary table gives a general reﬂection
8 years PQE 80–140+
Given product availability, it is anticipated that of the whole of the ﬁnancial services market,
although different institutions’ compensation PRIVATE PRACTICE
lawyers with experience in dealing with REIT
packages do vary a great deal. Bonuses can Newly Qualiﬁed 55–68
products will also be sought after through
2006. Overall, the recruitment market has also vary greatly depending on the institution, 1 year PQE 60–75
been active on all fronts. area within that institution and level of seniority. 2 years PQE 65–85
3 years PQE 70–90
Barring any external shocks to the economy, Bonuses paid in 2005 and the beginning
4 years PQE 75–100
it is forecasted that hiring through 2006 will of 2006 tended to be better than in the
preceding three years and broadly ranged 5 years PQE 78–110
continue to remain top of the agenda.
from 10% to 60%. The outlook for 2006 is 6 years PQE 85–130
COMMERCE & INDUSTRY a positive one, with growth anticipated in 7 years PQE 87–140+
In-house teams have either expanded or most specialist areas. 8 years PQE 90–150+
created new legal functions, particularly at
COMMERCE & INDUSTRY The above ﬁgures are base salary only, excluding bonuses
the mid-level and senior end of the in-house and other beneﬁts. Salaries within the banking sector vary
market. Despite a traditional 10%–20% In London, the energy, technology, signiﬁcantly and are not reﬂected in the above guide.
pay-cut being offered for in-house roles, pharmaceuticals and media markets continue
lawyers still perceive that in exchange, they to show growth, with the majority of activity
will gain more job satisfaction and business being at 3–6 years PQE. UNITED KINGDOM SALARY TABLE 2006
exposure as well as a better work/life balance. Salary £’000
The desire to move in-house remains as
Keen to secure high calibre candidates, BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES
strong, with lawyers keen to move into a role
corporates have been offering salaries and Paralegal 27–50
which will develop their awareness of key
packages that are competitive with law ﬁrm 0–2 years PQE 48–70
business issues, as well as ideally retaining
rates. Lawyers who have general corporate
a specialist knowledge of an area of law. 2–5 years PQE 55–85
(joint-venture and mergers and acquisitions)
5–8 years PQE 70–115
experience as well as general commercial The market remains jobs driven and therefore
drafting skills remain in demand. 9+ years PQE 80–150
if marketed well should give companies a
good choice of candidates. Salaries and COMMERCE & INDUSTRY
Mandarin language skills have increasingly Newly Qualiﬁed – Basic 35–54
packages remain relatively static, reﬂecting
become essential for many in-house roles.
a market where there are still more 1–3 years PQE – Basic 35–56
In recognition of the importance of corporate candidates than vacancies. 1–3 years PQE – Package 35–63
governance and compliance matters, 3–5 years PQE – Basic 52–75
multinational corporations have been creating 3–5 years PQE – Package 55–90
new legal functions based in their Greater 5–7 years PQE – Basic 57–97
China ofﬁces. 5–7 years PQE – Package 62–125
PRIVATE PRACTICE 7+ years PQE – Basic 62–130
Across the private practice sector, recruitment 7+ years PQE – Package 67–150
activity remains strong .Top and mid-tier private Head of Legal – Basic 66–310
practice law ﬁrms have been actively hiring. Head of Legal – Package 72–369
Corporate ﬁnance and general corporate The salary tables give a general reﬂection of the whole
lawyers with Chinese language skills and commerce and industry and ﬁnancial services markets as
different institutions’ compensation packages vary a great
business exposure remain highly sought after. deal. Bonuses can also vary greatly depending on the
Disillusioned with partnership potential and institution, area within the institution and level of seniority.
prospects, mid and senior level corporate
ﬁnance lawyers have moved to the in-house
sector. Firms have had to either rely on returnees
or seek out talent with language capabilities from
other jurisdictions such as Singapore.
Level 7, 1 Margaret Street, Sydney NSW 2000
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