Our recent Salary Survey gives IP professionals a comprehensive overview of the current market, providing a benchmark for clients and candidates alike of the monetary value of talent in this highly competitive sector.
London vs. The Regions
One of the biggest surprises we as IP recruiters found was the differences in salaries in London and the Regions. We are consistently approached by Attorneys at all levels who are considering relocating and seek our advice in relation to what differences they should expect in salary. Whilst it is widely accepted that salaries in London are higher than those in the North, IP as a sector seemed less affected by this than other Professional Service industries. Our Survey Results suggested that the differences in salaries between London and the rest of the UK were significant; most notably in IP support staff with an experienced IP Administrator in London expecting to take home over 50% extra in salary than their regional counterpart. As a team, we were collectively surprised to see such an extreme difference between perception within the profession and reality in the current market but when we considered the candidates that we have placed recently in this capacity, those appointments are in sync with the results shown in our survey.
The vast majority of employers surveyed planned to or, have already increased salaries this financial year. When considering the results from Sacco Mann’s previous salary survey, it seems these increases haven’t been huge but a welcome step in the right direction nevertheless! Bonuses remain a hot topic of conversation and as experienced recruiters, we are being increasingly asked by Attorneys who are considering a move about the strength of the bonus structure and its potential financial value at their perspective new employer.
Salary vs. Bonus
Whilst an average of 90% of employers pay employee bonuses, the way that they are structured and what they can offer was seen to vary greatly. Personal performance was the most common reason to pay a bonus UK-wide; nearly a third of regional practices still paid the more traditional Christmas Bonus or equivalent gesture in comparison to only 11% of London based firms. In the main, bonuses were awarded for performance against a predefined target although discretionary bonuses still account for a significant proportion of those paid out. Targets against ‘Hours’ and ‘Billings’ were the biggest factor influencing bonuses although we know from speaking to Attorneys that these targets and the financial rewards associated vary hugely from firm to firm.
Whilst money is rarely the only reason an Attorney cites for leaving their current position, it is usually an important factor and it is extremely rare that we see an IP professional move into a role which they know will decrease their earning potential. Basic salaries do differ across employers, although in a highly competitive, candidate-short market, wild fluctuations are few and far between. What we do tend to see is a trade off between firms offering a more modest basic with a stronger bonus structure, versus firms offering a higher basic paired with a less sophisticated or indeed a harder to achieve bonus structure. Ultimately, it is then for the Attorney to decide what motivates them more and just how risk adverse they are– giving their potential employer a useful insight to their psyche for future development.
To see the Salary Survey Results in full, please