Salaries rise for regional in-house lawyers in 2013/14, new research reveals

New figures reveal in-house salaries and bonuses rose in the regions again last year.

In-house lawyers in Yorkshire and the North East are those most likely to have seen an increase in their remuneration package last year, including benefits, with 73 per cent of respondents to new research saying they had seen their pay rise.

Lawyers in the Midlands and the North West were also likely to have taken home a greater income last year than in the previous year, with 68 per cent in both regions reporting an increase.

Earning potential for in-house lawyers with six to 10-to-12 PQE increased in each of the other three regions surveyed. It was at its best in the North West, where salaries averaged between £72,500 and £115,000.

The lowest starting rate for 10-to-12 PQE was in Yorkshire and the North East where salaries ranged between £58,500 and £110,000, while the Midlands saw wages for this group reach £99,000 at the highest but start slightly higher than the former at £64,000.

In-house lawyers between one and five years PQE in the Midlands were the only group to see wages dip last year, falling to between £42,000 and £56,000 compared to between £42,000 and £58,000 the previous year.

The highest salaries for this experience level were to be found in the North West, with an average of between £44,000 and £72,000. In Yorkshire and the North East wages ranged between £42,000 and £50,000.

Despite the apparent fall in wages for up to five years PQE in the Midlands last year, the director and head of in-house at recruitment agency BCL Legal Mark Levine, whose company commissioned the research, said the region had seen a greater level of activity this year and was likely to perform well on salaries in next year’s survey.

“Companies are offering more to retain staff than they were,” Levine said. ”There was no budget before but now there is because bringing new people in to replace leavers will cost them more.”

He said mid-level corporate lawyers were the most sought-after group in both private practice and in-house roles.

“Most individuals still want to know that they’re going to be paid fairly for their PQE, particularly at head of legal level,” he added.

The Midlands did do best on bonuses, with 81 per cent of repondents in the region saying they were paid a bonus last year and the average being £21,000.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire and the North East received just £18,500 on average, and the North West received an average of £19,000.

Despite the general increase felt by in-house lawyers between one and 12 years PQE, for those that were newly qualified wages stayed relatively static again last year (30 April 2013).

The North West was the only region that saw NQ salaries rise and it was by an average of just £500 per year.