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  #1071 (permalink)  
Old 31-08-2016, 11:48 PM
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bank MAs earning 4k+ easily, compliance analysts earning mid to high 3s while working shorter hours...really no point being a lawyer if the pay isnt there

passion cannot eat
Pros and cons. Not talking about S&T or IBD roles in bulge brackets etc, your run of the mill analyst work in the local outfits (UOB, OCBC, DBS) is actually extremely tedious boring. much like a junior lawyer's life.

but if you want a not-so-ambitious, coasting along worklife, a generic bank analyst role is pretty cushy. because of the phenomenal headcount of banks, they can absorb a large amount of idiots and underperformers who'll get their annual raises and promotions every year.

unlike law firms which are very leanly run, and where partners will drop, push out or at least ask "politely" to leave their teams any underperformers or incompetents who aren't pulling their weight, or even worse, who aren't billing enough - a cardinal sin.

anyway, law firm salaries have always been really overrated to begin with, at least in Singapore. the sooner the cheapo firms start lowering the salaries for junior associates, the better. less naive people will be suckered into going into law for the supposedly high salaries.

if you want to earn big bucks as a lawyer, practice in one of the major legal markets. that means HK, NY and London, where your salaries will actually begin to match investment banking type salaries. definitely not in singapore, which is basically exploitation.



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  #1072 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2016, 01:03 AM
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Pros and cons. Not talking about S&T or IBD roles in bulge brackets etc, your run of the mill analyst work in the local outfits (UOB, OCBC, DBS) is actually extremely tedious boring. much like a junior lawyer's life.

but if you want a not-so-ambitious, coasting along worklife, a generic bank analyst role is pretty cushy. because of the phenomenal headcount of banks, they can absorb a large amount of idiots and underperformers who'll get their annual raises and promotions every year.

unlike law firms which are very leanly run, and where partners will drop, push out or at least ask "politely" to leave their teams any underperformers or incompetents who aren't pulling their weight, or even worse, who aren't billing enough - a cardinal sin.

anyway, law firm salaries have always been really overrated to begin with, at least in Singapore. the sooner the cheapo firms start lowering the salaries for junior associates, the better. less naive people will be suckered into going into law for the supposedly high salaries.

if you want to earn big bucks as a lawyer, practice in one of the major legal markets. that means HK, NY and London, where your salaries will actually begin to match investment banking type salaries. definitely not in singapore, which is basically exploitation.
Err isn't Singapore aspiring to be a dispute resolution centre much like London, NY and HK? Haha I seldom doubt the Chief's words but is SICC really making the pie bigger in Singapore legal industry?

Yeah although it's really bad now i wish the Gov and its proxies will stop intervening in supply and demand of the lawyers at a whim. Focus on quality of graduates and lawyers called to the Bar. I would say, review the list of universities periodically, make Part A and Part B sufficiently tough to filter out those with not enough knowledge of Singapore law. I acknowledge all these are done by MinLaw and SILE already. One more step to set up a central portal for the award of TC ... enough done.

The legal profession should not act as if it has a monopoly of talent as well. If the industry prospects are no good you will see more bright young high school grads go for other careers. Left with the more mediocre ones who intends to fuel themselves via passion, the quality of lawyer will eventually suffer. Law schools don't make dumb people smarter. It attracts smart people to make them smarter.

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  #1073 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2016, 08:03 AM
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Err isn't Singapore aspiring to be a dispute resolution centre much like London, NY and HK? Haha I seldom doubt the Chief's words but is SICC really making the pie bigger in Singapore legal industry?

Yeah although it's really bad now i wish the Gov and its proxies will stop intervening in supply and demand of the lawyers at a whim. Focus on quality of graduates and lawyers called to the Bar. I would say, review the list of universities periodically, make Part A and Part B sufficiently tough to filter out those with not enough knowledge of Singapore law. I acknowledge all these are done by MinLaw and SILE already. One more step to set up a central portal for the award of TC ... enough done.

The legal profession should not act as if it has a monopoly of talent as well. If the industry prospects are no good you will see more bright young high school grads go for other careers. Left with the more mediocre ones who intends to fuel themselves via passion, the quality of lawyer will eventually suffer. Law schools don't make dumb people smarter. It attracts smart people to make them smarter.
Singapore wants to be a hub/centre for every damn thing in the world. It's as though putting the suffix hub will justify govt policy on anything
Do you srsly think the pie will how larger? Did the pie grow larger for the life sciences grads 12 plus years ago? People have such short term memories. Reality is very different from government aspirations. And talk about having law grads kept on as paralegals don't exactly inspire confidence.

How much bigger can the pie grow anyway given that our economy had been low growth, listings have been down and we are losing luster as a financial city. There are only that many rich Indonesians for lawyers here to service

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  #1074 (permalink)  
Old 03-09-2016, 06:39 PM
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I heard rumours that some mid-sized law firms ( i refer to those 20-50 lawyers ones) offer their fresh associates as low as 3.2k a month..

Any one can corroborate that? or cast doubts on that?
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  #1075 (permalink)  
Old 03-09-2016, 06:43 PM
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Default Big 4

Heard that one or two of the Big 4 forms aren't doing very well and will be replaced by a few of the rising mid size firms in a few years. Anyone care to share how the situation is like at those Big 4 firms? (Think everyone will know which ones I'm talking about)
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  #1076 (permalink)  
Old 03-09-2016, 08:24 PM
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I heard rumours that some mid-sized law firms ( i refer to those 20-50 lawyers ones) offer their fresh associates as low as 3.2k a month..

Any one can corroborate that? or cast doubts on that?
Due to oversupply of law grads and loose foreign talent policies, there are some associates that are paid 3k+/- and really just doing simple documentation work.
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  #1077 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2016, 12:24 AM
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Heard that one or two of the Big 4 forms aren't doing very well and will be replaced by a few of the rising mid size firms in a few years. Anyone care to share how the situation is like at those Big 4 firms? (Think everyone will know which ones I'm talking about)

Shouldn't the more important question be.... What rising mid size firms? Hahahaha
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  #1078 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2016, 11:29 AM
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Shouldn't the more important question be.... What rising mid size firms? Hahahaha
there is only one strong mid size firm able to challenge the big 4. quite obvious
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  #1079 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2016, 10:14 PM
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there is only one strong mid size firm able to challenge the big 4. quite obvious
$3k salary for an NQ associate = true. Ask around.
Dentons Rodyk is doing quite well.
The rest I'm not too sure. Which strong mid size are you ref to?
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  #1080 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2016, 10:41 PM
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Default Musings

Just sharing some musings here. Sorry if they appear random and unsystematic.

(1) Salaries

My personal knowledge extends as far as years 1-7 in a Big4 (I left somewhere midway through that journey) and years 1-6 in the Singapore office of an MC (where I am currently working).

Big 4 (The one which takes up several floors of a building where rental was secured cheaply during a crisis. Correct as of 2016). Figures include front load, exclude measly year end bonus remaining after deducting front load.

NQ: $5.5k/m
Year 2: $6.4k/m
Year 3: $7.6k/m
Year 4 (SA1): $9k/m
Year 5 (SA2): $10.3k/m
Year 6 (SA3): $11.3k/m
Year 7 (Consideration Year): $12.5k/m

MC (Can't reveal too much about which one it is.)

NQ (Year 3 SG scale): $12k
Year 1 (SA1 SG scale): $14k
Year 2 (SA2 SG scale): $16k
Year 3 (SA3 SG scale): $18k
Year 4 (Consideration year SG scale): $20k
Increments of approx $2k/m every year until Year 8 UK scale, then stagnates until you make the move to Counsel or Junior Partner.

No idea about mid tiers and boutiques, as I've got no experience there. I hope the above helps!

(2) Decline

Someone wrote here that 1-2 of the Big 4s are in decline. That's only 25% to half true. The truth is that they are ALL in decline.

- Retention rates have fallen from almost 100% to 60-70% on average.
- One or two Big4s have made equity calls in the past two years.
- Insane downward fee pressure. IPOs (prospectus et al) are being quoted at just over $10K when the same work used to fetch easily north of $200K. Race to the bottom.
- Foreign firms have been successfully eating away a large share of the erstwhile monopolized corporate/banking/finance law pie.
- Associates leaving in droves. I was an SA at a Big4 earlier this year when I saw a mass exodus of 13 associates from a certain department on the 24th floor. Many will know which firm and which Dept I'm talking about. The NQ's, who were originally given the windowless, newly created sad rooms were all upgraded to window seats.
- Local law firms have started unofficially retrenching people. It's a dirty tactic called "counselling out" the unwanted personnel. It essentially involves placing a person into cold storage (low quality, non billable work, negligible bonuses, ostracision etc). Eventually, if all else fails, the target is told in no uncertain terms to resign. Iron rice bowl in a Big4? Urban legend. Myth. Lie.
- Local law firm partners have this delusional mantra about how the UK firms are undercutting them in order to gain market share, how this is loss-making and unsustainable and how the UK law firms will all eventually be forced to exit, and when that happens, all the greedy Singaporean associates who picked the instant gratification of higher starting paychecks will weep and regret. Having seen the insane workflow and healthy fee quotes of a MC's Singapore office, I can honestly declare that nothing could be further from the truth.

Our Big4 law firms were pretty much finished when the QFLP scheme was launched. The same thing that happened to HK Biglaw (decline of local giants caused by rise of international behemoths) is now happening in SG. I suspect the legal scene in Singapore will look very different in 20 years' time.
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