UK lawyers less wealthy than Bric counterparts

UK lawyers are lagging behind their counterparts in the developing world when pay is compared to average gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, according to new research.

Senior lawyers from Brazil, Russia, India and China earn on average 23 times the average GDP per capita, compared to salaries of 5.4 times GDP per capita in the UK.

Although in absolute terms Indian lawyers, with an annual salary of £51,868, earn the least, this equates to 53.4 times average GDP per person. Chinese lawyers earn on average 19.4 times GDP per capita, Brazilians 12.7 times GDP per capita, and Russians 6.8 times GDP per capita.

Brazilian lawyers had the highest average remuneration of £93,966, said the salary survey produced by recruiters Laurence Simons. Chinese lawyers earned an equivalent of £76,986 and Russian lawyers £62,099.

In the UK, the average salary was £134,504.

Optimism is highest in Brazil, where 70 per cent of lawyers are positive about the economy and 69 per cent of firms are planning expansion over the next year. Indian lawyers are also looking forward to a strong future, with 61 per cent of firms saying they are planning growth and 70 per cent of lawyers optimistic about the economy.

In comparison, only a third of Chinese and Russian lawyers are optimistic about their country’s economic outlook, although 43 per cent of Chinese firms say they will expand in the next year.

While just 48 per cent of UK lawyers said they would considering moving overseas for work, a majority of Bric lawyers are open to relocation. This number is as high as 78 per cent in Brazil and 74 per cent in India, while 68 per cent of Chinese lawyers and 60 per cent of Russians would also consider moving.

Laurence Simons surveyed a total of 3,700 lawyers with an average of 10.9 years’ post-qualification experience (PQE). Of those, 636 were based in the Bric countries with an average of 9.7 years’ PQE.

  Total remuneration (£) GDP per capita (£) Ratio – remuneration:GDP
Brazil £93,966.00 £7,399.00 12.7
Russia £62,099.00 £9,154.00 6.8
India £51,868.00 £971.00 53.4
China £76,986.00 £3,974.00 19.4
UK £134,504.00 £25,130.00 5.4

Source: Laurence Simons