Salaries for In-House Counsel Remained Flat in 2009

July 1, 2010 ( - Salaries for in-house lawyers in the U.S. remained flat in 2009, according to a new survey by the international legal recruiting firm Laurence Simons.

Average salaries for corporate counsel with four to five years of experience fell slightly in 2009 to $145,300, down from $147,000 in 2008, according to a report on Corporate Counsel. Pay for those with eight to nine years of experience increased slightly to $175,000, up from $174,000 the year before.  

Globally, 73% of respondents received a bonus in the past 12 months and 30% of these bonuses were higher than in the previous year; however, Michael Roche-Kelly, Laurence Simons’ Chicago-based managing partner, told Corporate Counsel this was not true in the U.S. where many did not get a bonus and if they did it was half of the previous amount.  

In-house legal departments at U.S. companies took a big hit. They cut more positions than their European counterparts, as European companies were more likely to freeze or reduce salaries than cut positions, Roche-Kelly said.  

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