Report: Impact of pandemic on Inhouse counsel salary increase
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on compensation was felt in 2020. All industries saw the lowest base salary increases of the last five years. Not surprisingly, the consumer, healthcare/life sciences, and professional services industries saw the lowest salary increases while the financial, energy, and technology industries had the highest salary increases. According to BarkerGilmore: 2021 In-House Counsel Compensation Report Issued on June 2021.
The report polled approximately 2,500 in-house counsel at various levels of seniority from both the public and private sector in the United States.
Key Report Findings
The average annual salary increase for all positions across industries was down this year to 3.5% from 4.4% in 2019. The energy, financial, and technology industries all averaged 3.7% salary increases and the consumer, healthcare/life sciences, industrial/manufacturing, and professional services industries all averaged 3.5% or less salary increases.
Eight percent of respondents obtained a new position in 2020. Thirty-five percent of new legal positions received sign-on bonuses. While respondents at all levels had higher total compensation if they went to a Top 100 law school. Total compensation averaged 25% higher for General Counsel, 15% higher for Managing Counsel, and 19% higher for Senior Counsel if the respondent obtained their J.D. from a Top 100 law school.
Across all positions, respondents that worked for an Am Law 100 ranked law firm had higher total compensation packages than those with Am Law 101+ experience or no law firm experience.
Consistent with the last 5 years, 2020 revealed that the compensation of those at publicly traded companies is significantly higher than at private organizations. The gap is most significant at the General Counsel level, with a 52% disparity in total compensation.