City’s lawyers see rise in pay and bonuses

CITY lawyers enjoyed an average increase of almost £10,000 on annual bonuses last year, up 25 per cent from the previous year, according to research out this morning from legal recruiter Laurence Simons.

The 2011 average was £35,500 – up from £26,500 in 2010. However, the number of lawyers who received a bonus fell last year from 73 per cent in 2010 to 65 per cent in 2011.

Coupled with a four per cent increase in base salaries, the figures claim that City lawyers’ average annual pay has grown to £146,500, rising 10 per cent from £133,500 the previous year.

The growth of legal salaries was almost twice that of those in other professions. Accountants, for instance, saw their basic pay increase by only 2.1 per cent in 2011. Across the UK, salaries increased only 1.2 per cent in 2011.

The unexpected pay growth for lawyers, who endured pay freezes in 2010, had been attributed to early economic confidence.

“Salaries and bonuses have also been pushed up by the limited supply of talent in their market, making retention the name of the game for employers,” said Lucinda Moule, managing director of Laurence Simons.