In-House Lawyers’ Pay Keeps Going Up (but so does inflation)

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By Alex Aldridge on

Working as an in-house lawyer in a company is seen as one of the less glamorous legal gigs out there – albeit usually offering an easier life than a position in a law firm. The money also tends to be less. But according to a newly-released survey, the rewards are still pretty good.

Research by Incomes Data Services (IDS) puts average salaries for in-house solicitors “with little or no experience” at £43,720. Meanwhile, IDS says in-house heads of legal typically earn £132,310 – up 2.5% from last year (but with the Retail Prices Index currently running at above 5%, this figure represents a real terms decline in salaries).

Mid-level in-housers can earn anything between that, with deputy general counsel average salary coming in at £91,410.

There was more muted positive 2012 tidings for in-housers with the news that there has been a decrease in the number of private sector employers imposing pay freezes on their in-house lawyers – with freezes down to 21% of employers compared to the 32% of employers who had a pay freeze in place last year.

Predictably, in-house lawyers working for public sector and not-for-profit organisations were the least likely to see pay increases, with 56% of employers in this group freezing pay for their in-house lawyers this year.

Bonus awards – which range from between a median of 10% of salary for junior in-housers to 30% of salary for in-house legal heads – generally remained static.