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Comprehensive legal salary guide for 2016 released

01 December 2016

The New Zealand Law Society and legal recruitment specialist Hays Legal have released results of a survey of salaries and employment trends for New Zealand lawyers.

The New Zealand Law Society & Hays Legal Salary Guide 2016 has been compiled from a survey of nearly 2,000 lawyers employed in-house and in law firms. It is available here.

New Zealand Law Society President Kathryn Beck says the resulting report provides an excellent snapshot of salary ranges and benefits and employment conditions.

“The Law Society believes a good base of data on remuneration and trends will be of great benefit to employers and employees alike. A high performing legal profession is one where the members feel their work and input are adequately rewarded and recognised. We thank Hays for working with us to provide this very useful reference point.”

“As the New Zealand economy continues to perform strongly, we are seeing rising demand for staff in most areas of law,” says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand. “This has placed upward pressure on salary expectations.

“Our survey shows that the typical starting salary for new lawyers in New Zealand now ranges from $45,000 for those in small firms to $50,000 for those in large firms. This salary gap widens further as lawyers gain more experience; lawyers with five years’ experience in small firms are typically paid $71,000, while those working in large firms typically earn $90,000.

“Meanwhile those starting their career in-house typically earn $56,000, increasing to $88,000 by the time they gain five years’ PQE.

“Within the Government sector new lawyers typically receive $43,000, increasing to $67,000 for those with five years’ PQE,” he said.

The Salary Guide includes salaries for lawyers at various levels in private practice, commerce and the government sector. Salaries are also reported by location (New Zealand, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga and other North Island locations and Dunedin and other South Island locations).

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Last updated on the 1st December 2016