Warsaw law firm compensation, benefits and billing report 2018…
This survey was prepared on the basis of in-depth research carried out during July 2018. The results are based on data collected from 16 leading corporate law firms in Warsaw. The report was researched by Gwilym Davies of Globe
Business Media Group.
Legal market outlook
• Despite continued anxieties about threats to the rule of law and the possibility of EU funding withdrawal, Poland’s economy has remained strong during this period, with GDP growth levels continuing to exceed expectations and currently standing at more than 5% a year.
• The Polish government’s continued meddling within the legal space – in both its moves to appoint politically loyal judges and its continued attack on the domestic pricing of legal services – has made it deeply unpopular with much of the legal community.
• While the Polish government’s controversial policies and spat with the European Union have so far failed to deter investors in significant numbers, or adversely affect the economy, there is a palpable sense that this may change in the year ahead.
Compensation and human resources
• Despite an excess of law graduates on the jobs market, a war for the top talent has seen several firms increase average salaries for junior lawyers since last year.
• 54% of the firms surveyed increased fee-earner headcount during the past year, with the median net change in headcount standing at a 7.8% increase.
• 54% of the firms surveyed increased support staff headcount during the past year, with the median net change in headcount standing at a 5.8% increase.
• The average collected hourly rate during the past year among the international law firms surveyed was €177, while among the domestic law firms surveyed the figure was €124.
• The average annual number of billable hours recorded during the last year for associates at the international law firms surveyed was 1,395 hours, while among the domestic law firms surveyed the figure was 1,034 hours.
This is the 13th edition of the Lexology Insights Warsaw law firm compensation, benefits and billing report (previously known as the Warsaw Legal Market Intelligence report). It was prepared on the basis of in-depth research carried out during July 2018. The results are based on data supplied by participating law firms, as well as interviews with partners, office managers and directors of HR and finance at 16 of the leading law firms in Warsaw. The report was researched by Gwilym Davies of Globe Business Media Group. We intend to repeat this exercise annually, addressing any fluctuations in the market, along with new areas as suggested by respondents. For this reason, we remain eager for feedback on the usefulness of the findings and on how the report’s format and relevance can be improved.
Profile of participating law firms
We would like to express our appreciation to all of the law firms that provided their time and cooperation in the preparation of this report. Their identity is confidential.
All of the 16 law firms surveyed are experienced in advising international and domestic clients across a range of corporate, financial and general business areas. The sample of participating firms breaks down as follows:
• All law firms (total sample for data analysis) – 16
• International law firms – 10
• Domestic law firms – 6
No data analysis was undertaken for groups whose sample size was considered too small.
Median size of the firms surveyed (Warsaw operations):
• All personnel – 109
• Fee-earners – 81
• Support staff – 45
In gathering the information for this report, we spoke to senior decision makers at law firms and obtained details of compensation, benefits and billing rates. The following information is presented in such a way as to conceal the identity of the firms that provided the information, while still providing meaningful comparative data on compensation, benefits and billing rates.
Readers may notice isolated statistical anomalies in certain figures given in the tables and charts. These typically result from occasional variations in the level of response from participants or limited data samples for categories not applicable to all firms, both of which can give rise to isolated distortions. In these instances, please refer to the charts for an indication of the general trend.
Key to tables and charts
The following key clarifies what is meant by each job title, given that some are not universally applied by
• Equity partner: A stakeholder in the firm.
• Salaried/local partner: A local partner who has not been admitted into the firm’s core equity.
• Of counsel: A consultant/academic/elder statesman retained by the firm or, more commonly, a probationary or permanent status sitting between senior associate and partner.
• Level n associate: Lawyer in (n+1)th year of practice with a firm since graduation from law school. Full qualification typically occurs between years three and six.
• Paralegal: Provides clerking duties, file management and skilled support. Usually possesses some form of legal training or qualification.
• Student trainee: Legal undergraduate employed on a part-time basis.
• Translator: Provides translating services.
• Chief operating officer/operations director: Senior management role at larger offices. In charge of overseeing the firm’s business operations.
• Office administration manager: In charge of the day-today administration of a given office.
• Office administration coordinator: Mid-level administration staff in charge of aspects of office management.
• Office administration assistant: Junior administration staff providing assistance to senior office management.
• Office services
• Driver: Provides driving services for clients and/ or employees.
• Office services assistant: Fulfils general office support duties.
• Serving/catering staff: Serve refreshments and/or prepare food for the office.
• Chief financial officer/finance director: Senior finance management role at larger offices. In charge of major financial strategy.
• Chief accountant/finance manager: Senior finance management role at smaller offices/in charge of aspects of financial strategy at larger offices.
• Finance administration assistant: Provides assistance to senior finance management.
• Senior accountant: Accountant with significant experience and enhanced responsibilities.
• Accountant: Accountant providing typical financial services for a given office.
• Assistant accountant: Provides support for accountants.
• Head of billing/revenue manager: In charge of billing and collection for a given office.
• Billing coordinator: Coordinates aspects of billing and collection.
• Billing assistant: Provides assistance to billing department.
Key to tables and charts
• IT director: Senior IT management role at larger offices. In charge of IT strategy and usage, often across multiple offices throughout the region.
• IT manager: Senior IT management role at smaller
offices/in charge of aspects of IT strategy at larger offices.
• IT support – senior: Provides IT support for employees – senior position.
• IT support – junior: Provides IT support for employees – junior position.
Marketing and business development
• Marketing and business development director: Senior marketing/business development management role at larger offices. In charge of marketing/business development strategy.
• Marketing and business development manager: Senior marketing/business development management role at smaller offices/in charge of aspects of marketing/ business development strategy at larger offices.
• Marketing and business development coordinator: Provides skilled assistance to senior management and coordinates aspects of marketing and business development.
• Marketing and business development assistant: Provides assistance to marketing and business development management.
• Business development specialist: Provides detailed research and support in client pitches and business development.
• HR director: Senior HR management role at larger offices. In charge of HR concerns and strategy.
• HR manager: Senior HR management role at smaller offices/in charge of aspects of HR strategy at larger offices.
• HR coordinator/officer: Point of contact for employees with HR issues or concerns.
• HR specialist: Specialised HR personnel in charge of coordinating specific HR related projects.
• HR administration assistant: Provides general assistance to senior HR management.
• Chief librarian/information manager: Responsible for knowledge management for the office.
• Assistant librarian/information coordinator: Provides assistance to the chief librarian in larger offices/in charge of knowledge management for smaller offices.
• Proofreader/editor: Provides skilled editorial and proofing services.
• Secretarial coordinator/team leader: In charge of the secretarial team.
• Executive assistant: Personal assistant to partners and senior management.
• Legal secretary – senior: Experienced secretary with some legal knowledge and responsibility for important administrative tasks.
• Legal secretary – junior: Junior secretary with some legal knowledge and administrative responsibilities.
• Reception manager: In charge of front-of-house staff.
• Receptionist: Front-of-house staff also involved in clerical and administrative duties.
Key to tables and charts
The following tables and charts illustrate the ranges of compensation and billing rates for the report sample.
been made to record the data in a common format in order xxx to provide comparative statistics.
For each of the previously detailed positions, each table gives the following data:
• weighted mean;
• median (50th percentile);
• arithmetic mean;
• Insights average;
• first/third quartile (25th/75th percentile firms);
• average salary/billing band range;
• fifth/95th percentile firms;
• number of people in sample; and
• number of firms in sample.
The weighted mean is calculated using average salary and billing values and employee numbers provided by participating law firms for a given job position. Therefore, firms with a greater number of employees will be given more weight in calculating this figure. given job position, with no weighting taken into account.
The Insights average is a ‘mean of means’, calculated by taking the mean of the weighted mean, median and arithmetic mean. This guidance figure may help to eliminate statistical anomalies which can arise in calculating these various averages.
First quartile values represent average salary and billing figures for firms in the 25th percentile of the sample group (typically lower-tier firms). Third quartile values represent average salary and billing figures for firms in the 75th percentile of the sample group (typically upper-tier firms).
The average salary/billing band range figure is the mean difference between the highest and lowest salary/billing values for a given job position at each participating firm.
The fifth and 95th percentile values represent average salary and billing figures at the extreme ends of the sample (typically firms near the very bottom and top of the
The following tables and charts illustrate the ranges of compensation and billing rates for the report sample. Due to the nature of the report, there are variations in the The arithmetic mean is calculated using average salary level of detail provided by respondents. Every attempt has and billing values provided by participating firms for a
The median (50th percentile) is the second quartile and the sample group).
middle value of all average salary and billing values given by participating firms for a given job position. The number of people in the sample is the total number of people in the sample for a given job position.
Key to tables and charts
The number of firms in the sample is the number of participating law firms with relevant personnel in a given job position.
Certain data may be omitted in certain employment categories or firm groups due to insufficient sample sizes.
All compensation data figures are monthly and given in Polish zloty (PLN). All salaries are gross and exclusive of bonuses and the employer’s social security contributions.
Billing rates are hourly and in euros.
Where conversions in currency have been necessary the following exchange rates were used: €1 = PLN4.32
Readers will notice isolated anomalies in the average figures for compensation and billing. These are the result of occasional variations in the levels of response, giving rise to some distortions. In these instances, please refer to the charts for a better indication of the overall trend in that particular sector.
About Lexology Insights
Lexology Insights conducts confidential surveys of compensation, benefits and billing rates among international law firms in key jurisdictions around the globe.
We focus on legal markets outside the United Kingdom and United States where international law firms often struggle to obtain accurate local benchmarking data. We annually survey 23 countries across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The reports resulting from our surveys offer detailed compensation, benefits and billing rate benchmarking data for all levels of fee-earners and business services staff, and are used by HR management teams at more than 50 major international law firms.
Our research surveys
In order to gather the information for our reports, we survey major international law firms and leading local law firms.
Since a great deal of the data provided is highly sensitive, we guarantee all our participant law firms complete anonymity and provide confidentiality agreements to reassure them that their data is in the safest of hands.
As an incentive to take part in our research surveys, we offer participating law firms substantial discounts on the price of associated reports (usually between 40% and 50%). We also offer substantial additional discounts for subscription packages covering multiple jurisdictions.
For information on pricing, survey participation and discounted bundle packages, or to request surveys in new markets,
Head of research
Globe Business Media Group
New Hibernia House
Winchester Walk London SE1 9AG
Tel +44 (0) 20 7940 6858