find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Perth in-house lawyers win in salary survey

Perth in-house lawyers win in salary survey

THE LARGEST movement for in-house salaries throughout the country has been enjoyed by Perth’s lawyers, with increases to the minimum and maximum stipend occurring across all levels of experience…

THE LARGEST movement for in-house salaries throughout the country has been enjoyed by Perth’s lawyers, with increases to the minimum and maximum stipend occurring across all levels of experience when compared to last year’s figures.

Perth’s in-house lawyers were between $5,000 to $15,000 better off in 2007 at the lowest end of the salary range, and between $5,000 and $20,000 better off at the highest end, recruit company Hays Legal determined in its 2007 salary survey — putting them much closer to their colleagues in Sydney and Melbourne.

The next biggest move in salaries in 2007 occurred in Melbourne. Increases of between $5,000 to $10,000 were recorded in the salary ranges for those with three or less years of post admission experience (PAE). Sydney experienced similar advances in salary range to Melbourne, but across less PAE levels, the survey said.

Perth, however, was the biggest salary mover. And according to Peter Turner, chief executive officer and general counsel at the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA), the shortage of qualified lawyers in Perth is forcing companies to offer higher wages.

“What we have seen as an organisation for some time is that the Western Australian market for in-house lawyers is undergoing a shortage,” Turner said. “There are really more positions out there than can be filled by qualified candidates, and that obviously puts pressure on salaries and conditions. And behind that of course is a resources boom that we’re all aware of, kicked off by demand in China as I understand it.

Hays consultant Ben Carter agreed that jumps in in-house salaries in Perth are no surprise, considering similarly competitive increases to salaries for lawyers working in private practice in Western Australia.

“There are always lawyers interested in going down [the in-house] route so they probably haven’t had the candidate shortages of private practice,” Hays consultant Ben Carter said. “That said, I still think the salaries will continue to increase.”

Turner expects that as long as the resources boom continues, and corporations based in Perth continue to grow and increase their need for legal services, there will be an ongoing need to attract lawyers, particularly those from the eastern seaboard. He said he is aware of at least two in-house lawyers who have moved recently from east to west, though he is sure there are others.

The drain of talented lawyers overseas is helping to increase demand in Perth as well, Turner said,

“There are other opportunities we are all aware these days outside Australia — in London, Dubai, in New York even — for in-house counsel. It’s very hard for a relatively isolated city like Perth to attract good people to come and work there.”

The only change between last year’s and this year’s in-house salaries in Brisbane occurred for lawyers with two years’ PAE. The salary range decreased from $55,000 to $75,000 to $50,000 to $75,000, while all other ranges at different levels of experience remained the same. In New Zealand too, there was no change between salary ranges for in-house between 2006 and 2007.

Turner said the lack of movement in the salary range for in-house lawyers in Brisbane reflected what ACLA was seeing in terms of Queensland membership. However outside of the capital city, there are definite growth areas that Turner believes will be lucrative for counsel who are after a change in lifestyle.

“What we do notice is that the Queensland market … is quite diversified,” he said. “[We] are seeing a lot of people moving to the two coastal regions — the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast — which have become very big areas of their own, and they are attracting a lot of businesses, and very big semi-government, local government organisations as well.

“So there are positions in those areas, with great lifestyles, obviously, that are attracting people, and that won’t necessarily influence the figures in Brisbane.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Perth in-house lawyers win in salary survey
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microscope
06:04
‘Exorbitant legal fees’ under government microscope
With the growing number of class action proceedings in Australia, the government is looking at how ...
Funds, money, cash
06:00
Law Access WA receives welcome funding
Law Access Western Australia has received a grant from the state government to fund its pro bono leg...
Thomson Reuters adds to Practical Law team
06:00
Thomson Reuters adds to Practical Law team
Thomson Reuters has appointed an experienced real estate lawyer to its Practical Law Australia team....
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...