Morning Briefing: How satisfied are in-house lawyers?

by Steve Randall14 Oct 2015
Your clients may not be happy in their work
A survey of in-house lawyers has produced some interesting insights. The Association of Corporate Counsel’s 2015 Census Report asked 5,000 GC’s in 73 countries a wide range of questions to ascertain challenges, job satisfaction and their use of external law firms. More than three quarters of Australian in-house lawyers said that they were satisfied with their work, ranking the same as those in the UK and higher than China (72 per cent) and Singapore (67 per cent) but lower than countries including the US (83 per cent), Canada (86 per cent) and Spain (93 per cent).
Australian in-house lawyers work fewer hours on average (47 per week) than those in China and Canada (48), the US (50), Hong Kong (51) and Singapore (52) but also earn less with a higher proportion (almost 40 per cent) of salaries below US$100,000 (along with New Zealand) than any other region. In Canada and the US fewer than 10 per cent earn less than $100,000. Expectation of promotion in the next four years is also lower in Australia than other regions.
Asked about use of external law firms litigation is the primary reason followed by employment and privacy law. There was a slight growth in the use of outside counsel compared to decline shown in the same study in 2011. Among their greatest challenges the in-house teams said privacy, cybersecurity and corruption were their biggest concerns last year; the latter was most prevalent in Asia Pacific responses.
 
Lawyers rise to new heights
A global team of 40 partners and lawyers from international firm DLA Piper have successfully completed a trek through the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia to raise money for UNICEF. Walking for up to 10 hours a day the team covered almost 7,000 metres to reach the summit at Mount Bwahit. The law firm has been associated with the charity since 2013 and has donated almost US$1 million; this latest fundraiser has raised around $150,000.
 
Retired Canadian Mounties file privacy class-action
A class action lawsuit has been filed by retired Canadian Mounties who allege that their psychological records were released without their knowledge or consent. The former RCMP officers say it is a serious breach of privacy that their records were provided to the College of Psychologists in British Columbia. They allege that records were released as part of a “witch-hunt” against a psychologist who had worked with the officers. The case has been filed by Dave Reichert who said he has done so to protect those who are currently serving with the Mounties from similar breaches.
 
 

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