Salary Survey: Bonuses

Overall, less than half – 46.2 per cent – of all respondents to the survey received a bonus last year. This overall figure was skewed by in-house respondents, however, who were far more likely to get one.

As mentioned above, 71.4 per cent of in-housers who responded to our survey received a bonus in 2014/15, compared to just 38.9 per cent of lawyers in private practice.

London lawyers did best when it came to picking up bonuses. Doing little to help counter regional stereotyping, the least generous areas were the North West, where only a third of lawyers got a bonus, and Yorkshire and the North East, where just 27.6 per cent received one.

Those who got a bonus had good cause to be satisfied – the majority received a bigger bonus than the year before, and indeed, 23 per cent of bonus recipients had got nothing last time round. Some 29 per cent of lawyers got the same size of bonus as the year before, while only 13.4 per cent reported that the size of their bonus had decreased.

A bonus of up to 5 per cent was the most common reward for hard work, given to half of private practice lawyers who got a bonus.

Taking into account those respondents who did not get anything, about five out of 10 lawyers (across private practice and in-house) got no bonus at all last year, three out of 10 got a bonus of up to 10 per cent of their base salary, while the remaining two out of 10 got an even more generous reward.

Newly-qualified solicitors were by far the least likely to get a bonus – not surprising since the base salary jump from trainee level is usually a big one. Still, one in four NQs did get a bonus. Solicitors of 1-3PQE fared better, with 43.5 per cent getting a bonus, and those in the 4-6PQE bracket did best of all – 53.3 per cent received something extra. Some 46.5 per cent of 7+PQEs got a bonus.

Salary Survey Bonus Graph

For more Salary Survey content go to TheLawyer.com/salarysurvey

Back to listing