Network Firm News

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sheri Qualters - The National Law Journal - November 8, 2006
Altman Weil Inc. reports increases in in-house attorney salaries of 2.2% to 9.5%, and increases in bonuses of as much as 71%. One reason: competition for legal talent.

Some Markets More Affected: Patents, M&A benefited more.

Some Job Titles More Affected: CLO in the information/telecommunications sector earn 39/9% more (median) than other CLOs.

Altman and Lexis/Nexis surveyed 6,255 lawyers in 277 law departments. March 1, 2006 information was compared with March 1, 2005 information, as well as bonuses received in 2005 and 2004.

Senior attorneys (up 8.5%), high-level specialists (up 9.5%) and General Counsel (up 8%) did best. Lower level corporate counsel (up 2.2 %) and staff attorneys (up 3.5%) made up for lower raises with larger bonuses.

Bonuses were up across the board -- senior attorney (up 14.4%), junior attorneys (up 62.5%), staff attorneys up 71%), division general counsel (up 20.3%), managing attorneys (up 25.3%).

Bonuses for CLOs slipped to $132K (median), division general counsel ($104K) and senior attorneys ($29.2K).

Good business and increasing importance of compliance and oversight to corporate governance played a role. The reason -- Sarbanes-Oxley, the legal function is more highly valued.

And, surprise, surprise, larger companies pay higher than smaller companies. CLOs with 25 or more attorneys earned 88.8% more than the national median. Deputy CLOs in such departments earn 57.5% more than the national median.

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