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"What impact has COVID-19 had on Corporate & Commercial In-house lawyer salaries in Australia?"

Hayden Gordine Market Insights, Corporate & Commercial

The events of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented disruption for businesses all around the globe, creating an urgent and immediate focus on business continuity and crisis management. But what impact has the crisis had on Corporate & Commercial in-house lawyer salaries and the sector as a whole?

What has been witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic is that the legal function, and in particular that of the General Counsel, just as it did in the Global Financial Crisis, were on the front-line as businesses in all industries across the globe revisited their balance sheets and operating models, navigated the transition to remote working and turned its attention to building a business for a post-pandemic new working world. One of the key differences however is that this time around the General Counsel function was better positioned to provide strategic legal and risk advice than the Global Financial Crisis.

One of the legacies of the GFC is that the in-house function claimed a more strategic future at the heart of the business. This positioning enabled the legal function to deliver the best possible service as the world faced its next major challenge, COVID-19. And just like the GFC, COVID-19 has resulted in the General Counsel and the legal function shifting even closer to the heart of business decision-making and it is there to stay.

Taylor Root is pleased to announce the release of our 2021 Salary Guide & Market Report for the Australian Corporate & Commercial Legal sector, which outlines remuneration data for legal departments and individual lawyers.

As we move towards a post COVID-19 world and despite the uncertainty continuing to shape the landscape both here and abroad, there is a level of confidence in boardrooms on the back of healthy levels of activity. We have seen a strategic focus by State and Territory governments who have brought forward approval of $19 billion of construction and development projects, amongst other major stimulus initiatives to help kick-start the economy. The rapid migration to digital technologies driven by the pandemic will continue into the recovery. Companies have accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by five years. Customer behaviours and preferred interactions have changed significantly, and while they will continue to shift, the uptick in the use of digital services is here to stay.

The market is showing strong signs, opportunities are rapidly returning and retaining top talent is critical due to the lack of readily available talent to replace exits. Salaries haven’t moved, nor would we expect to see increases so soon after COVID-19, however competition for talent has seen the sector paying at the higher end to secure talent. Positive sentiment for the year to come? Unfortunately, it is far too early to tell.

We invite you to download the full report, the Taylor Root Australian In-house Legal Corporate & Commercial Salary Guide & Market Report 2021 and uncover:

  • Overview of the Australian Corporate & Commercial In-house Legal Market
  • Legal Industry Insights
  • Australian In-house Banking & Financial Services Lawyers’ salaries
  • General Counsel & Company Secretaries market update & salaries

Fill in the form below, or for an in-depth discussion on any of the material in the report please contact Hayden Gordine – Partner & Head of Taylor Root Australia on (02) 9236 9004 or email haydengordine@taylorroot.com.au.

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