In-house lawyers closing the pay gap

April 18, 2013 A new report has found that the wage gap between private practice and in-house lawyers is closing, as the amount of time taken to reach partnership continues to increase.

Towers Watson’s Legal Salary Report found that junior lawyers in private practice are earning over a third more than their in-house counterparts, but that senior in-house lawyers can earn up to 11 per cent more than private practice lawyers of equivalent seniority once bonuses are taken into account.

For example, a lawyer at a mid-sized firm who qualified in 2007 would expect an average salary of around £88,000, including bonuses, while the equivalent in-house lawyer at a financial services company would expect a base pay of £83,500, with total compensation taking that figure to £97,000.

The report shows that the increasing time it takes to reach partnership has led to a flattening of pay for lawyers below partnership level, and that outside of partnership, in-house lawyers seem to be getting a better deal.

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