CHICAGO, IL (Feb. 22, 2011) –InsideCounsel, a Summit Business Media publication, published its bi-annual In-House Salary Report, titled “Building Worth: In-house counsel must prove value to reap financial rewards,” in its February issue. In reporting for the cover story, InsideCounsel spoke with legal recruiters and consultants, who are reporting positive changes in in-house compensation trends.
“As the dust settles from the U.S. economic crisis, salary compensation for in-house counsel is showing as stagnant,” reported Editor-in-Chief Cathleen Flahardy. “When we interviewed experts last year for the 2009
report “Salary Slump,” budget cuts, layoffs and salary freezes were predicted. This uptick in the economy may not bring salary spikes immediately, but there’s room for optimism.”
Using data from Hildebrandt’s annual law department salary survey, the article discusses which factors are affecting in-house lawyers’ salaries and compensation packages and the role the economy has played in these trends. The survey shows that although salary increases remain slow or stagnant, cash bonuses are returning to their pre-recession levels, giving the in-house bar a clear incentive to perform well. In fact, Hildebrandt found that total compensation, including base salary, cash bonuses and long-term incentives, saw a median increase of 4.4 percent among all in-house lawyers, compared to just 1.7 percent in 2009.
Recruiters and experts from consulting firms weigh in both on the likely reasons for compensation trends and what in-house counsel should do to maximize their personal worth within their law department.
“The financial future of GCs depends on their actions,” said Flahardy. “The report found that the factor that weighs the most on determining a salary increase is one’s merit. So prove your worth and you will harvest the reward.”
The 2011 salary report also provides comparisons to law firm salaries, using data from Robert Half Legal’s law firm salary guide.
To read the special report, go to: http://www.insidecounsel.com/Issues/2011/February-2011/Pages/BuildingWorth-InHouse-Salary-Report.aspx
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Lindsey McVay Brown