Sydney partner pay exceeds A$1m mark

Average pay for Sydney-based partners in Australia’s largest firms has broken through the A$1m (£410,440) barrier for the first time, according to a new salary survey.

The survey by Mahlab Recruitment found that average partner remuneration at top-tier firms in Sydney was A$1.04m (£412,000).

The top tier includes Australia’s ‘big six’ of Allens Arthur Robinson, Blake Dawson Waldron, Clayton Utz, Freehills, Mallesons Stephen Jaques and Minter Ellison.

Partners based in Melbourne are paid less, largely due to the lower cost of living. The survey found the average partner remuneration for partners in Melbourne was A$896,000 (£367,750).

The survey also shows the disparity between Australia’s highly competitive top-tier firms and the midmarket, where average partner remuneration reached A$643,000 (£263,910) for Sydney and A$560,000 (£229,840) for Melbourne.

The survey found partner drawings had increased by an average of 8 per cent in the past year, while busy conditions had seen a slowing of partners’ lateral movement between the big six.

Newly qualified lawyers in Sydney command an average of A$68,000 (£27,910) compared with their counterparts in Melbourne with A$63,500 (£26,060) and Brisbane with A$58,000 (£23,800).