Senior US in-house lawyers see big wage increases

The survey by US legal consultants, Altman Weil, reveals that chief legal officers (heads of legal) received an average 13 per cent increase in salary and 18 per cent rise in total cash compensation (salary plus cash bonuses).

Deputy chief legal officers fared even better with an average 23 per cent increase in salary and 28 per cent rise in total cash compensation.

Managing attorneys – defined in the survey as those who usually head a team of specialist lawyers – received an average salary hike of five per cent with a corresponding total cash compensation increase of eight per cent.

Attorneys with less than 12 years of experience saw a ten per cent rise in both salary and total cash compensation, while levels for recent graduates and high level specialists remained the same.

The survey of 381 law departments found that for non-management attorneys with less than eight years experience, the chemical, pharmaceutical, health care and petroleum industries paid out the highest base salary