North-West lawyers top in-house salary rankings

Young in-house lawyers based in the North West are earning thousands of pounds more than their peers in other regions.

New figures show that the average salaries for solicitors with only one to five years’ post-qualification experience (PQE) will take home between £42,000 and £60,000 in cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Preston.

That compares to between £42,000 and £56,000 in the Midlands and £36,000 to £58,000 in Yorkshire and the North East.

The annual salary survey research, from Manchester-based legal recruitment consultancy BCL Legal, reveals that when senior professionals reach between six and 10 years’ PQE, Midlands lawyers earned more, between £58,000 and £92,000 per annum. The North West was in second place with an average of between £63,000 and £88,000, and lawyers in the North East and Yorkshire were still the least well-paid on £60,000 to £88,000.

The same survey asked about bonuses, allowances, pension contributions, holidays and private medical insurance. It found that 83 per cent of North-West lawyers received a 2011 bonus, the average being £15,000, which was up £2,000 from the year before.

Fewer in-housers received a bonus in the Midlands (74 per cent), but the average amount was higher at £18,000. For the North East and Yorkshire 75 per cent received a bonus, picking up an average of £15,000.

Mark Levine, director of BCL Legal and head of its in-house department, said; “The survey has become a vital tool to analyse how in-house legal professionals are being remunerated. The findings are once again interesting and prove the regions vary. We know the market is still tough but it’s positive to see an upward trend on certain numbers.”