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How much does a lawyer earn?

How much does a lawyer earn?

The salary of a qualified lawyer or solicitor can differ greatly depending on their level of experience, location, industry or role within the firm or organisation.

According to our 2018 Salary Checker guide, a newly-qualified lawyer based in London can earn anywhere between £50,000 and £85,000 per year, while a lawyer with six or more years of experience should expect a salary of anywhere between £70,000 and £230,000+.

Outside of London, lawyers starting out in their careers can earn between £32,000 and £45,000 per year, while lawyers with six or more years of experience can earn between 39,000 and £72,000.

Here’s a summary of how much a lawyer/solicitor should expect to earn:

 

Private practice - London

How much do lawyers at Magic Circle/Silver Circle firms earn?

A recently qualified lawyer working at a Magic Circle/Silver Circle law firm in a permanent position can expect to earn anywhere between £78,000 and £85,000 per year.

Lawyers at mid-tier and top international law firms with around two years’ experience can expect earnings of anywhere between £98,000 and £110,000. Those with four years’ experience can expect a salary between £115,000 and £130,000.

Lawyers at a Magic Circle/Silver Circle firm with six or more years’ experience should expect a salary ranging between £140,000 and £155,000 per year.

How much do lawyers at mid-tier/top international firms earn?

A newly qualified lawyer in a permanent position at a mid-tier or top international law firm should expect a starting salary between £59,000 and £68,000 per year.

Lawyers at mid-tier and top international law firms with around two years’ experience can expect earnings of anywhere between £70,000 and £80,000. Those with four years’ experience can expect a salary between £80,000 and £90,000.

Lawyers with six or more years’ experience can expect a salary of anywhere between £88,000 and £120,000 per year.

How much do lawyers at West-End boutique firms earn?

Newly qualified lawyers with permanent positions at West-End boutique firms should expect starting salaries of anywhere between £50,000 and £60,000 per year.

Two years into their careers, lawyers at these firms can expect a boost in salary of anywhere between £60,000 and £74,000 per year. For lawyers with four years’ experience, this increases to between £67,000 and £82,000.

Lawyers with six or more years’ experience at West-End boutique firms can expect a salary of anywhere between £76,000 and £92,000 per year.

How much do lawyers at US/Mid-West and Mid-Atlantic firms earn?

A newly qualified lawyer in a permanent position at a US/Mid-West and Mid-Atlantic firm can expect a starting salary of anywhere between £68,000 and £90,000 per year.

Two years into their careers, lawyers at these firms can expect earnings of anywhere between £80,000 and £105,000 per year. Four years into their careers and this increases to between £90,000 and £115,000.

Lawyers with six or more years’ experience can expect a salary of anywhere between £115,000 and £137,000 per year.

How much do lawyers at US/New York and White Shoe firms earn?

Recently qualified lawyers in permanent positions at US/New York and White Shoe firms should have a starting salary of anywhere between £95,000 and £145,000 per year.

Two years into their careers and these lawyers can expect earnings of anywhere between £105,000 and £170,000 per year. Four years in and this rises to anywhere between £120,000 and £210,000.

Lawyers with six or more years’ experience can expect a salary of anywhere between £140,000 and £230,000+ per year.

 

In-house - London

How much does an in-house lawyer at an oil and gas company earn?

A freshly qualified lawyer in a permanent role at an oil and gas company should expect earnings of anywhere between £45,000 and £54,000 per year.

In-house lawyers working at oil and gas companies with two years of experience can expect to earn between £55,000 and £65,000. Those with four years’ experience should expect a salary ranging from £64,000 to £95,000. Lawyers with six or more years’ experience should expect to earn between £82,500 and £110,000.

A Compliance Counsel/Head of Legal Compliance can earn anywhere between £50,000 and £170,000, while those in Head of Legal positions should expect between £125,000 and £190,000, and a General Counsel could expect earnings ranging from £145,000 to £240,000 per year.

How much does an in-house lawyer at an infrastructure services company earn?

A lawyer just starting out in their career at an infrastructure services entity can expect a starting salary of £44,000 to £52,500 per year.

Lawyers with two years’ experience can expect to earn between £60,000 and £77,000 at these organisations – this increases to between £71,050 and £86,000 for those with four years of experience, and £82,500 to £100,000 for those with six or more years’ experience.

For those in more senior positions, a Head of Legal earns between £130,000 and £195,000 per year, a General Counsel earns between £145,000 and £225,000 per year, and a Compliance Counsel/Head of Legal Compliance can earn anywhere between £50,000 and £75,000.

How much does an in-house lawyer at a banking and financial services company earn?

At Asset Management, Investment Banking, Retail Banking/Insurance or FMCG/Retail/Leisure enterprises, newly-qualified lawyers in permanent positions can expect a starting salary of anywhere between £40,600 and £65,975 per year.

Lawyers with two years’ experience can expect to earn between £50,750 and £85,000, those with four years’ experience can earn between £65,975 and £105,000, and those with six or more years’ experience can earn between £76,125 and £175,000.

Head of Legal positions offer between £91,350 and £185,000 per year, and a Global General Counsel could expect to earn anywhere between £111,650 and £355,250.

How much does an in-house lawyer at a heavy industry company earn?

A newly qualified lawyer working in heavy industry, which includes construction, engineering and transport, could expect a starting salary of anywhere between £42,000 and £47,500 per year.

Those with two years of experience could expect a salary ranging from £52,000 to £62,000 per year. Those with four years of experience could expect between £70,000 and £80,000. Those with six or more years of experience could expect between £85,000 and £105,000.

Head of Legal positions in the heavy industry roughly offer between £125,000 and £180,000 per year, and a General Counsel could expect to earn anywhere between £135,000 and £240,000 per year.

How much does an in-house lawyer at a media company earn?

A newly qualified lawyer working in a permanent position at an IT and technology media company can expect a starting salary of anywhere between £45,000 and £52,500 per year.

Lawyers at these organisations with two years’ experience can expect to earn between £50,000 and £60,000. This goes up to £60,000 and £75,000 for those with four years of experience, and £70,000 to £95,000 for those with six or more years’ experience.

Head of Legal positions often offer between £80,000 and £125,000 per year, while General Counsel positions offer between £100,000 and £175,000 per year.

How much does an in-house lawyer at a life sciences company earn?

For newly qualified lawyers working in the life sciences sector, a starting salary ranging from £50,750 to £58,870 per year can be expected.

Lawyers with two years’ experience at these organisations can expect to earn between £60,000 and £73,080 per year. Lawyers with four years’ experience can expect between £70,000 and £86,275. Lawyers with six or more years’ experience can earn anywhere between £88,000 and £110,000 per year.

A Compliance Counsel or Head of Legal Compliance in the life sciences sector could earn anywhere between £65,000 and £152,000; Head of Legal positions offer between £100,000 and £152,250; and General Counsel positions offer anywhere between £150,000 and £190,000 per year.

 

English Regions

How much does an in-house lawyer in the English regions earn?

In the English regions, newly-qualified lawyers in permanent, in-house positions can expect to earn a starting salary between £32,000 and £42,000 per year.

Those with two years’ experience can expect earnings from £36,000 to £52,000 per year, those with four years’ experience can expect between £47,000 and £63,000, and those with six or more years’ experience can expect between £55,000 and £72,000.

For more senior positions, Legal Managers can expect earnings ranging from £57,000 to £91,000+, Head of Legal positions offer between £85,000 and £127,000, and General Counsel positions offer between £110,000 and £325,000+ per year.

How much does a lawyer at a small or medium law firm in the English regions earn?

Lawyers in the English regions that have recently qualified can expect to earn a starting salary of between £27,000 and £38,000 per year.

Those with two years’ experience at these organisations can expect to earn between £31,000 and £42,000. Lawyers with four years’ experience can expect between £35,000 and £48,000. Lawyers with six or more years’ experience can earn anywhere between £39,000 and £55,000+ per year.

How much do lawyers at national and regional commercial law firms in the English regions earn?

Newly-qualified lawyers in permanent positions at national and regional commercial law firms can expect to earn a starting salary between £34,000 and £45,000 per year.

Those with two years’ experience can expect earnings from £37,000 to £50,000 - those with four years’ experience can expect between £42,000 and £61,500 - and those with six or more years’ experience can expect between £47,000 and £72,000+ per year.

For full details on how much a lawyer earns, take a look at our Salary Checker tables.

 
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