New Zealand Law Society

Navigation menu

Survey shows above CPI salary increases likely in law firms

26 March 2019

A survey of 100 New Zealand law firms has indicated that 52% of staff can expect to have CPI or above salary increases in 2019. Another 29% are likely to have CPI-only increases.

The survey was carried out by the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) and legal recruitment firm McLeod Duminy. The surveyed firms had 2,741 staff working in over 40 positions. Results may be purchased by non-ALPMA members for NZ$2,200.

Of the responding firms, 53% anticipated employment growth in small and medium firms and there was an average staff turnover of 16% - up 2% from the previous year.

The top HR challenges were seen as finding quality staff/talent acquisition, followed by employee retention/talent management. Mental health management was third, with managing poor work performance and innovation and change management next.

Only 15% of responding firms had a proactive talent sourcing strategy. Significantly, 87% of the surveyed firms now consider that managing mental health is a key HR issue - up from 76% in 2018 and 69% in 2017.

The survey also showed that firms continue to have a gender disparity by role. Women comprised 24% of equity partners in responding firms, 50% of salaried partners, 73% of managers, 64% of lawyers, and 92% of administrative staff.

There were 1.9 fee-earners for every non-fee-earner, 3.3 fee-earners for every partner, and 3.5 fee-earners for every secretarial support staff member.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019