Solicitors Pay Across Legal Sectors
The pay of solicitors can depend on a number of factors. It largely depends on the nature of the case; both the sector of law it falls within and the specifics of the case. Different lawyers charge varying fees, something that is usually based on their experience and knowledge.
Commercial (business) lawyers will usually be among the highest paid. The outcome of some cases can have a major impact on a business’s future so they will have a high budget in terms of the amount they can spend on solicitor’s fees. Those that could be landmark cases can be extremely lucrative for businesses, or prevent them from financial ruin, so they are often wiling, and able to afford, the very best solicitors. This puts solicitors in a position where they are able to dictate high fees if they can demonstrate they are the best choice for the businesses concerned. Very large corporations spend large amounts on solicitors, not just for legal disputes, but in-house to make sure the legal side of the business is running smoothly. Therefore solicitors working for corporations such as Microsoft and Google will be on very high salaries. Solicitors acting on behalf of small local business will not be on anywhere near the same amount, so it does to an extent depend on the nature of the client. The best commercial lawyers, though, are the most highly paid across law.
Personal injury lawyers are often at the other end of the scale, and are generally low paid. There are many no win, no fee lawyers, where clients will only pay should their case be successful. The solicitors may still be paid if working for a firm, but not as much as in other areas of law, as there is no guarantee of the firm being paid. If a large case is won though then the firm, and solicitors, could be paid a significant amount as they will usually charge as a percentage of what the client gets. Therefore it depends more on the specifics of the case and its outcomes that the type of client. Most of this is specific to no win, no fee lawyers and not others working within the personal injury sector.
The pay of criminal solicitors can vary significantly. This can be dependent on the client and the nature of the case. For example, solicitors who were working for Michael Jackson during his legal battles would have commanded high fees. He would have paid for the best solicitors money can buy, and therefore the best paid. The other end of the pay scale within criminal law are those who work on behalf of those who cannot afford to pay for their own solicitors. When someone is arrested they will be offered legal representation. These solicitors will be paid by the state, and will be earning significantly less than other criminal solicitors. People are more willing to pay higher charges for the best representation if they have been charged with more serious criminal offenses. They will usually pay more if potentially facing prison time than if they are accused of a minor driving offense, as they have more to lose should they not win.
A large number of factors will dictate the pay of family law solicitors. It can depend on how much a client can afford and the nature of the case. If children are involved in a divorce or there are large settlements involved such as property or large savings, then clients are more likely to be willing to pay more, and the case will require more work on behalf of the solicitors.
Pay within wills and probate law is not generally amongst the highest, but there are exceptions. If lawyers are acting on behalf of a client with a huge estate then the charge is higher, as solicitors fees’ are often based on a percentage of the estates total worth at the higher end of the market. For the will of someone with minimal savings and an average home the fees will be much lower.
Property solicitors are generally paid a percentage of what the property is being bought for. Therefore, what a solicitor will earn will be very different for a mansion worth AÃ¯Â¿Â½5 million than a two bedroom house being bought for AÃ¯Â¿Â½100,000.
Although some sectors of law are paid better than others, there are many factors that dictate this amount. Some clients will pay more than others, depending on their own wealth, how important they deem the case, and their personal preferences. More experiences solicitors, with a positive track record, will earn the most whichever sector they work within, as clients will be willing to pay them more and they are more likely to be used for cases deemed important by clients.
Andrew Marshall (c)