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Law

Aussie big law firms seem slow to lift the pay freeze despite consistently reporting higher revenue than the same periods last year. (which for most aussie big law firms was their best year on record). The reason cited is that the outlook is still ‘uncertain’. Thoughts?

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As a fellow Australian solicitor, it's best to just come to grips with the fact that the partners here are exceedingly greedy. The disparity between the lowest paid legal staff and partner can be up to 10x out the gate. A graduate lawyer at a Big 6 (read: our "white shoe" equivalents) starts off around AU$75-85k. That's just about under US$65k at best. Fully fledged solicitors don't even see that huge NQ bump that British lawyers see. At most, their salary as third year practitioners (assuming they are admitted at year 1, which isn't a controversial opinion) tops up to reach a total of about AU$110-120k. Yet the billable hour requirements at top firms remain comparatively high with no substantive bonus scheme. I myself have a 1750 hour requirement and last year billed 2000 alone, only to receive an AU$3k bonus. That's why the best and brightest leave Australia the moment they can. It makes no sense to sit here and slave away when you could do the same in New York for 3x the pay.

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CA1 US$400k — is that normal?

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