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XVI Comparative Analysis of Remuneration in Law Firms in Spain: Continuing trend in fixed salary. Moderate drop in the variable

According to the XVI Comparative Analysis of Remuneration in Law Firms in Spain, carried out by Signium, in collaboration with IE Law School

Continuing trend in fixed salary. Moderate drop in the variable.

In 2020, within a flat trend, the Big4 show slight drops.

Teleworking makes the leap from social benefit to daily operations.

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Madrid, February 4th, 2020. - SIGNIUM, an international firm of Executive Search and Leadership Advisory Services, has presented, in collaboration with IE Law School, the 16th edition of the Comparative Analysis of Remuneration in Law Firms in Spain.

The meeting was chaired by Ignacio Bao, Emeritus Chairman of the Global Board & Managing Partner Spain and Portugal of Signium, Soledad Atienza, Dean of IE Law School, and Carlos de la Pedraja, General Manager and Vice Dean of IE Law School. Carlos Alberola, Principal of Signium, has been in charge of presenting the results of the study.

Main Conclusions

§  The data obtained in 2020 offer flat results. The variations that we observe are represented in the variable part. This reality is reflected in all the categories analyzed.

§  Although there has been little variation in fixed remuneration, in the case of Scholars there is an increase of 5.57%.

§  The variable compensation has undergone more significant changes compared to the fixed salary. Decreases were identified in all categories, especially Associate and Director, which fell by 7.6% and 3.12% respectively.

§  National firms experience a clear stagnation in the fixed part of the salary and, on the contrary, show decreases in the variable part in all categories (with ratios between 5% and 7%).

§  International firms maintain the trend of previous years, that is, moderate increases in the fixed part. However, a drop is observed in the variable, which stands out mainly in the Associate and Director categories (11% and 15%).

§  The Big4 in 2019 were positioned as leaders regarding the increases. However, in 2020 it is detected that the fixed salary suffers slight falls, with the impact on the variable part being more significant, which has reached -15% for Directors.

§  The Spanish legal boutiques, like the previous year, continue to moderately improve their salary proposals.

§  The figure of the Paralegal maintains the downward trend of previous years. We once again interpret that this figure, despite playing a role highly valued by law firms, still lacks external and institutional recognition.

§  Regarding the figure of Scholarship holders of the Access Master, a positive and remarkable variation is observed in economic terms. National and international law firms offer the best scholarship conditions, closely followed by Big4. On the contrary, in the Boutiques, this figure is flat and we do not observe any intention of improving their conditions of access to the professional career.

§  Taking into account the complex and special nature of this 2020, we cannot fail to mention the relevance that the implementation of teleworking has had in companies, transforming pre-established models, including business culture. Of course, the law firms have also adopted this new modality, integrating it into the day-to-day and making use of new technologies that facilitate interpersonal relationships.


About the study

The document collects the current market situation regarding the remuneration of the lawyers who make up the main firms in Spain, analyzing the salary bands of the different professional categories and comparing them with the same data, from previous years.

To carry out the study, both national and international law firms and the Tax & Legal divisions of the Big Four were taken into account. Also the legal boutiques with between 20 and 50 professionals.

Which means an investigation that covers more than 7,000 professionals.


The data correspond to the remuneration for the categories of Scholar, Junior, Associate, Senior Associate and Director.

The study collects once again the comparative results of monetary compensation but also includes elements of non-monetary compensation (restaurant tickets, daycare checks, health insurance, life insurance, mobile phone, language classes, parking, housing rental, gym, training…).


About Signium

Signium is an international leadership consulting and executive search firm specializing in talent management services. It has 44 offices in 31 countries. He has an extraordinary track record in executive search and senior management consulting services, helping companies develop and retain the leaders of the future. As one of the founders of AESC (The Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants), Signium helped develop the industry's Professional and Ethical Codes, which are still maintained today at the firm.

In the Iberian market the firm has offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon. Its 5 Partners serve its divisions of expertise: Executive Search (executive search) and Leadership Advisory Services (leadership consulting). The team is specialized in the Professional and Financial Services sectors, and has extensive experience in the Industry, Consumer and Retail sectors.

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For more information, please contact:

Marketing & Communication department

[email protected]

Tel: (+34) 91 781 52 10
Fax: (+34) 91 781 52 19