The 2024 ALPMA/Fluid Legal Recruitment New Zealand HR Issues & Salary Survey is now open for participation.
ALPMA is inviting all New Zealand Law Firms to take part in the most comprehensive study of salaries and remuneration within the legal industry. Participation is free, and completing the survey is the only way to get free access to the final report and salary tables, worth $2,200.
Each year, firms from across New Zealand benchmark their remuneration strategies and HR priorities against their peers, helping them stay competitive even after performance reviews are over. Last year, 155 New Zealand law offices, employing 4,300 people, reported their actual salaries paid for over 55 roles and their top HR challenges for 2023.
Employment growth slowed significantly over 2022 to 2023. Only 41% of law firms increased their headcount — down from 57% in 2021. Two fifths of firms located in Auckland decreased in staff count by the start of 2023, while only one fifth of Wellington firms did the same.
In the recent tight labour market, three-quarters of firms were concerned about their ability to recruit staff in 2023. Intention to recruit for all position groups had fallen in recent years, with nearly half of law firms anticipating no change in staffing numbers over 2023 and three quarters concerned about recruitment. Despite predictions of unsuccessful recruitment activities and decreases in hiring for growth, few firms predicted a decrease in staff size over 2023. As we have seen in yearly trends, this expectation of staff stability may be an optimistic projection and a dangerous underestimation of the number of firms that have not seen growth over the last 12 months.
2022-2023 wage growth driven by recruitment rather than retention strategies
Compared to 2022, there was a 22% decrease in average salaries for Managing Partners, and a 20% increase for Marketing Coordinators. Recent average wage increases are likely to be driven by new recruitments rather than bumps to existing remuneration packages in an effort to retain internal staff. Just less than half of all legal firms are willing to offer salary increases to keep current staff, and this proportion drops to less than a third for large firms. With regards to securing external talent, three quarters of all firms are willing to increase their remuneration offers, with larger firms more likely than small firms to pay at least 10% more than currently to incentivise new staff hires.
This year’s research will see whether firms were able to retain and attract valuable staff over the last 12 months, and which strategies were key to success.
Pay above market salaries
Pay at least 10% more
Results from the 2023 ALPMA New Zealand Legal Industry HR Issues & Salary Survey.
The 2024 survey is scheduled to close on Friday 16 February, 2024 with salary tables published for participants during March, ready for Salary Reviews in the new financial year. The final report will be available by early April. Firms who want a copy of the final report but do not participate will be able to purchase the report for $550 (ALPMA members) or $2,200 (non-members).
What makes participating in this survey so attractive is the quality of the salary data provided within the final report. Salary data for each position is segmented by firm size and location, allowing firms to consider the salaries they are offering employees based on actual market data and other relevant criteria. In a candidate short market with retention of top talent high on the agenda this survey allows firms to benchmark themselves against the entire industry, as well as firms with similar characteristics.
The HR Issues & Salary Survey report will provide up-to-date information on the state of the NZ legal industry, its people and remuneration, including:
- insight into current & future issues in HR;
- defined staffing profiles & roles (55+ positions);
- firm & individual benefits;
- current salary data – from Graduates to Equity Partners (and everything in between);
- insights into anticipated salary increases & bonus structures;
- recruitment intentions for the coming year; and
- other entitlements on offer at firms.
The confidential online survey takes 30-60 minutes to complete once you’ve gathered your data. You do not want to miss out on the opportunity to benchmark your firm against 150+ firms across New Zealand!
About the Research
About the 2024 Legal Industry HR Issues & Salary Survey
The 2024 ALPMA/Fluid Legal Recruitment New Zealand HR Issues & Salary Survey report will be the most comprehensive, independent report on salaries for all roles at New Zealand law firms. This is the tenth year the research has been conducted in New Zealand.
Over 150 law offices from across New Zealand provide comprehensive information about salaries, benefits and bonuses they pay for lawyers, management and administrative staff. The report uses actual salaries paid to employees to describe the ‘typical’ salary for more than 60 roles at law firms. Salaries for each role are also broken down by size of firm and by location, allowing companies to benchmark their remuneration strategy for each role with similar firms.
The report also offers insight into the critical HR issues and challenges facing law firms, as well as anticipated salary movements, recruitment plans and staff employment arrangements. Since 2019, the survey the survey has been extended to include questions about staff gender by roles and gender pay gap perceptions.
The ALPMA HR Issues & Salary Survey reports are provided free of charge to all participating firms. Non-participating firms can purchase a copy of the New Zealand report online for NZD2,200 (or NZD550 for ALPMA members and Fluid Legal Recruitment clients).
The research was conducted for ALPMA by Survey Matters, an independent research consultancy, to the highest standards.
Find out more: www.alpma.com.au/salary-survey
The Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) is the peak body representing managers and leaders working within law firms, legal departments or government agencies. ALPMA provides an authoritative voice on issues relevant to legal practice management across the industry. Members of ALPMA provide professional management services to legal practices (et al) in areas of financial management, strategic management, technology, human resources, facilities and operational management, marketing and information services and technology.
ALPMA’s learning and development framework includes pillars covering finance, operations, information technology, human resources, knowledge management, business development, marketing, project management to name just a few. Content planned for members in 2024 will include topical challenges facing the industry today including legal technology, cyber security, anti-money laundering, regulatory updates, ESG and sustainability.
In FY2023 ALPMA delivered 124 events, including the flagship three-day ALPMA Summit, ALPMA Awards, the 5th Regional Law Firm Management Forum held in Singapore, a one-day HR Workshop, 39 webinars, 18 local events, 20 practice management breakfasts, various networking events and workshops, and 12 Mental Health First Aid Training Courses.
ALPMA also produces benchmarking reports for members including the various Salary Surveys conducted across Australia, New Zealand and for the Intellectual Property & Trademark sector, Financial Performance Benchmarking surveys (AU and NZ), annual Changing Legal Landscape report, Cyber Security report and our first State of Sustainability Priorities in the Legal Industry report.
ALPMA has around 3,000 members which includes individuals and corporate subscribers (law firms, legal departments and government agencies) across Australia, New Zealand and various other countries.
For more information about ALPMA, visit www.alpma.com.au
Stay up to date by following ALPMA on LinkedIn.
About Legal Fluid Recruitment
Looking for a role within the Legal sector? At Fluid Recruitment we work with top tier law firms as well as mid-sized and boutique Practices throughout New Zealand both in the main centres and the wider regions. We also work legal opportunities in-house and within the Government sector.
Fluid Legal is a specialist division of Fluid Recruitment New Zealand Ltd. We recruit nationwide, solely in the legal industry. If you are considering a change, or want to chat confidentially about your options, please get in touch.
Our legal division has one of the largest and most up-to-date databases in the country. We enjoy close relationships with partners throughout New Zealand, from top-tier and mid-tier to small regional practices. We take a consultative approach to recruitment and we will never sell a role that we don’t believe is a great fit. Our consultants are superbly placed to give candidates an accurate and honest appraisal of the market conditions, tailoring a strategy to give individuals the best possible chance at landing their dream role.
Our point of difference – Fluid Legal is a tight-knit specialist team with access to the resources of an established wider agency. You get the personable service of an industry expert while also having piece of mind that you are dealing with a market-leading and highly reputable recruitment firm.
Phone: 03 467 7220