Commerce & Industry

Another year has passed! With the announcement at the start of 2012 that the country is going to remain in a recession or strained financial times for the next 7 years, as a recruiter, it screams: ‘hard road ahead’. Fortunately, the in-house market continued to rise. Recruitment in the midst of last winter made for a booming time. The Commerce and Industry sector saw an increase in the number of commercial lawyers required across media, telecommunications, publishing houses, technology, and energy, particularly those with strong IP / IT experience and sector specific backgrounds.

With the surge of roles at the start of 2012, sourcing candidates at times was difficult; particularly when the in-house salary was not as high compared to what is offered at a top city firm or that of an American firm. However, on the flip side, there is a large pool of top level candidates who want to have a better work/life balance, clear career progression, and are willing to take a reduction in salary to work for a company that shares the same mentality.

This year saw an abundance of corporate lawyers who were looking to make the move in-house. This is a reflection of the continued tough economic times that plagued 2011 for some firms where the work had either dried up, the hours were too long, or where lawyers have been let go where teams have been restructured. This made for a strong contract market where lawyers were readily available to work. Companies with headcount restrictions saw this as a good way to see experienced, top tier lawyers brought on board without having to take them on permanently. Other contracts on offer were for short or long term maternity cover. This trend is expected to continue.

There is good news for those lawyers that have specialised experience and particularly in data protection. Given the impending legislative changes, there is a growing demand for data protection, compliance and regulatory lawyers at the 2 – 7 years PQE level. A point to note is that while companies are demanding these niche lawyers, it is difficult to find them. Increased salaries or packages have been offered in order to attract candidates; however, a risk of this is that, in the long-term, this may cause pay disparity amongst a legal team.

We saw a high number of candidates at the senior level, including General Counsels or Head of Legals, who want to make a move for reasons such as financial strains on the company, lack of challenge, or just for a general change in scenery. However, open and active recruitment at this level hasn’t been high through legal recruitment agencies.

Overall, in-house salaries in the commercial and industry sector have risen slightly. On average, it’s a 3 – 4% increase. Salaries in media and telecoms tended to not be as competitive as the IT, gaming and gambling, or digital media sectors. Increasingly, candidates were interested in the complete package offered by companies, often demanding that this included a consistently paid bonus, car allowance and / or travel allowance as well as pension.

The latter end of 2012 onwards will most likely see a rise in the recruitment of technology, data protection, and regulatory lawyers within the IT and digital media sectors. This area has huge growth potential and is constantly having to adapt to keep up with the latest technological advances. Strong commercial lawyers will still remain highly sort after.

October 2012 - In House Commerce & Industry Legal Salary Survey

Industry Sector:

NQ-2

2-5 PQE

5-8 PQE

8+ (Head of Legal)

12+ (General Counsel)

Energy / Utilities

£46,000 - £65,000

£55,000 - £85,000

£73,000 - £110,000

£95,000 - £110,000

£115,000 - £325,000

Construction / Engineering /
Manufacturing / Property

£43,000 - £63,000

£51,000 - £83,000

£70,000 - £105,000

£89,000 - £130,000

£105,000 - £230,000

Media / New Media

£41,000 - £62,000

£51,000 - £77,000

£65,000 - £95,000

£81,000 - £115,000

£100,000 - £210,000

FMCG / Retail

£40,000 - £59,000

£50,000 - £76,000

£66,000 - £90,000

£82,000 - £120,000

£110,000 - £190,000

Telecommunications

£46,000 - £62,000

£54,000 - £82,000

£71,000 - £105,000

£83,000 - £130,000

£110,000 - £210,000

Technology

£47,000 - £64,000

£54,000 - £84,000

£73,000 - £105,000

£84,000 - £130,000

£110,000 - £210,000

Pharmaceutical / Healthcare

£45,000 - £62,000

£52,000 - £82,000

£69,000 - £99,000

£90,000 - £130,000

£115,000 - £210,000

Gaming / Gambling

£52,000 - £65,000

£57,000 - £88,000

£72,000 - £105,000

£95,000 - £150,000

£110,000 - £250,000

Property / Real Estate

£43,000 - £58,000

£51,000 - £75,000

£67,000 - £97,000

£83,000 - £115,000

£90,000 - £230,000

Sevices

£43,000 - £62,000

£52,000 - £79,000

£70,000 - £105,000

£87,000 - £135,000

£110,000 - £250,000

Car Allowance

£3,700 - £13,000

Bonus

0% - 50%

To discuss this update or your personal recruitment requirements in detail please contact the legal team at info@ejgroup.co.uk or call on +44 (0) 207 400 2000