Private practitioners in Sydney and Melbourne were the winners in this year's salary increases, according to the 2010 Mahlab Recruitment Survey released today (30 July).
According to the survey, the salaries of private practice lawyers in Sydney and Melbourne increased on average by 12 to 14 percent, while the salaries of in-house lawyers increased by an average of 4.06 per cent.
Developments seen in private practice, according to the survey, included some initial steps being taken towards remuneration being tied to productivity, instead of experience, as well as an increase in demand for mid-level specialists.
On the partner level, there was significant movement and salaries increased by an average of four to seven per cent for those in the mid to top-tier firms.
Although salaries for in-house lawyers increased by an average of just over four per cent, this is up from 3.5 per cent in 2008/2009, and in-house lawyers received an average bonus of 20 per cent.
In-house teams are expanding, according to the survey, either through the engagement of permanent staff or through the use of contractors and/or secondees. The results of the survey also showed that more high quality work is being done in-house, attracting more private practice lawyers, and 37 per cent anticipate their external legal spend to increase in the new financial year.