Compensation trends – Brussels

Comparing the overall 2017 Brussels survey results with those of 2016 yielded the following results:

  • Average net percentage change in like-for-like trainee (years 1 to 3) compensation levels: +1%
  • Average net percentage change in like-for-like junior (years 1 to 4) associate compensation levels: +7%
  • Average net percentage change in like-for-like mid-level (years 5 to 8) associate compensation levels: +5%
  • Average net percentage change in like-for-like senior (years 9+) associate compensation levels: +7%
  • Average overall net percentage change in like-for-like trainee and associate compensation levels: +5%

Provided that associates meet performance targets, they will typically advance up a seniority level in lockstep compensation grids annually. The average annual salary increase for an associate advancing up a level on a lockstep grid in Brussels during the first nine years of fully qualified practice is 8%.

Headcount growth – Brussels

All personnel

  • Percentage of firms surveyed that increased total headcount during the past year: 31%
  • Median net percentage change in total headcount (among all firms): -4%

Fee-earners

  • Percentage of firms surveyed that increased fee-earner headcount during the past year: 15%
  • Median net percentage change in fee-earner headcount (among all firms): -4%

Support staff

  • Percentage of firms surveyed that increased support staff headcount during the past year: 23%
  • Median net percentage change in support staff headcount (among all firms): 0%

Billing – Brussels

It remains fairly standard for individual associates’ billing rates to increase annually, based on increasing seniority. The average annual step increase is 6% during the first eight years of fully qualified professional practice.

  • Average work hour target for associates: 1,817
  • Average annual billable hour target for associates: 1,650
  • Average number of billable hours clocked by associates during last financial year: 1,251
  • Average utilisation rate (billable hours clocked/target) last financial year: 76%
  • Average current number of billable hours clocked by associates during current financial year (projected): 1,292

The above article contains extracts from the Brussels sections of the Paris and Brussels 2017 Legal Market Intelligence Report. The full version of this report contains further data, including detailed compensation, benefit and billing rate benchmarking tables for all levels of fee-earners and business support staff. For further details and pricing contact Gwilym Davies at gdavies@GlobeBMG.com or on +44 (0) 20 7940 6858.