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In-house Lawyer Salary Summary 2010

The factors affecting the compensation of in-house lawyers are covered in detail in the following Edwards Gibson articles:

In summary the main factors affecting in-house compensation levels are:

  • Industry sector
  • Size of in-house organisation
  • Geography/ location of role
  • Size and seniority of role
  • Specialisation of lawyer

In addition, local relative law firm compensation is also an important, indirect contributory factor.

 

Surveys of in-house salaries tend to be less accurate than those for law firms. The reason for this is that law firms will generally make salary information public or will have the information to hand to accurately respond in detail to surveys; the same is generally not the case for in-house legal departments unless they are highly localised and "of a type", such as investment banking, whose legal departments tend to be large and comprised of capital markets lawyers based in central London. For this reason any generic in-house lawyer salary survey can only be a guide, and organisations wishing to find specific "market rates" for individual lawyers will need to refer to the articles above.

 

As a guide the table below shows salaries across the various in-house sectors and represents London and the Home Counties in-house teams with 4-10 legal personnel. The base salary figures are inclusive of car allowances and other cash benefits. Bonus payments include non-contingent stock. The figures are intended as a broad guide to be read in conjunction with the commentary in the relevant articles listed above.

 

Sector

Compensation

0-2 pqe (junior)

2-4 pqe (mid)

4-6 pqe (mid)

6+ pqe (senior)

Investment

Banking

Range  (£)

Typical (£)

Typical Bonus

58-80,000

65,000

20-35%

68-90,000

82,000

30-50%

80-100,000

94,000

40-60%

85-115,000

100,000

40-90%

Financial Services*

Range  (£)

Typical (£)

Typical Bonus

51-77,000

57,000

5-25%

61-90,000

74,000

15-35%

72-95,000

85,000

20-45%

80-105,000

97,000

20-60%

 

Energy

Range  (£)

Typical (£)

Typical Bonus

52-62,000

57,000

5-15%

59-80,000

72,000

10-30%

69-90,000

80,000

20-40%

79-105,000

96,000

20-50%

Pharma

Range  (£)

Typical (£)

Typical Bonus

52-64,000

55,000

5-12%

56-78,000

70,000

8-20%

67-86,000

79,000

15-30%

79-103,000

94,000

15-40%

Technology

Range  (£)

Typical (£)

Typical Bonus

52-64,000

56,000

0-15%

59-79,000

69,000

5-25%

68-87,000

78,000

10-25%

78-105,000

92,000

20-40%

Property/

Construction

Range  (£)

Typical (£)

Typical Bonus

49-61,000

55,000

0-12%

55-77,000

66,000

5-15%

63-87,000

77,000

8-20%

78-95,000

87,000

10-30%

FMCG & Retail

Range  (£)

Typical (£)

Typical Bonus

48-62,000

54,000

5-12%

57-72,000

64,000

5-20%

65-82,000

74,000

10-25%

77-93,000

85,000

15-40%

Manufacturing

Range  (£)

Typical (£)

Typical Bonus

48-60,000

52,000

3-12%

56-72,000

63,500

5-15%

64-82,000

72,000

8-20%

76-94,000

85,000

15-35%

Media

Range  (£)

Typical (£)

Typical Bonus

42-54,000

49,000

0-8%

53-65,000

57,000

3-18%

61-77,000

63,000

8-25%

64-92,000

77,000

15-30%

* Includes investment management houses, insurance companies, commercial and retail banks

 

It is interesting to note that, although investment banking as a business sector suffered exceptionally badly in 2008 and early 2009, it remained the best compensated in-house sector throughout the economic downturn. Indeed, 2010 saw total lawyer compensation levels within investment banking approaching those of 2007 (a record year). Further, due to a political desire to reduce a short-term bonus culture at these institutions, some even saw significant base salary increases of 15-30% in 2009/10.

 

Heads of Legal/ "Director" level positions in departments with 4-10 legal personnel

In legal departments of this size a senior level lawyer running the team would typically be styled "Head of Legal", however, in organisations with large legal departments this would equate to a section head, or "Director" level position in a financial services company or bank.

 

Investment banking
Base salary range £110,000- £150,000
Typical base salary £130,000
Typical package £280,000
Financial Services
Base salary range £110,000- £155,000
Typical base salary £135,000
Typical package £215,000
Energy
Base salary range £107,000- £170,000
Typical base salary £152,000
Typical package £230,000
Pharmaceutical
Base salary range £105,000- £185,000
Typical base salary £125,000
Typical package £195,000
Technology
Base salary range £97,000- £165,000
Typical base salary £150,000
Typical package £185,000
Technology
Base salary range £97,000- £165,000
Typical base salary £150,000
Typical package £185,000
Property/Construction
Base salary range £95,000- £155,000
Typical base salary £125,000
Typical package £165,000
FMCG & Retail
Base salary range £100,000- £130,000
Typical base salary £123,000
Typical package £160,000
Manufacturing
Base salary range £100,000- £145,000
Typical base salary £128,000
Typical package £160,000
Media
Base salary range £90,000- £128,000
Typical base salary £115,000
Typical package £155,000

 

Heads of Legal/ Legal Directors in smaller commercial organisations

Nearly a quarter of in-house departments consist of a sole lawyer who is usually the legal director for the organisation or its UK subsidiary. Compensation will vary according to the factors above, however, in the London and Home Counties environs typical base salaries, inclusive of car allowances and cash benefits, range from £95,000 to £150,000 with typical median of £110,000. "All in" compensation, inclusive of bonus and non-contingent stock, generally ranges between £105,000 and £175,000 with a median of £120,000.

 

Group General Counsel/ Heads of Legal

For companies with larger legal departments than those reviewed above, comparisons for Heads of Legal by industry sector becomes far more difficult owing to a host of variables such as: contingent performance stock grants, board membership, responsibility for compliance, and whether or not the role entails regional or global responsibility. Some would argue that this makes direct quantitative comparisons almost meaningless; however, Edwards Gibson is well placed to provide bespoke information on request.

 

© Edwards Gibson 2010

 

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