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  #4471 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2019, 08:26 PM
ivy lawyer
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Mostly losers who can't make it locally go to HK, then find a chance to jump back local a few years down.

Working hours are crazy. Average 2am daily. Culture is hard work and no life.

Salary is ok.
Singapore Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong attributes the lack of lawyers to the low salaries and suggests an upward review. Local media reported last year that junior lawyers are paid more than double in Hong Kong, about S$11,650 a month compared to about S$4,000 in Singapore. According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, the average monthly income among employed residents was S$6,830.

This quote is a little dated from 2008, but the salary gap btw HK and SG is still the same in 2019.

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  #4472 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2019, 08:33 PM
ivy lawyer
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Salary from Highest to Lowest :-
New York > London > Hong Kong > Singapore

If you look at the websites of the Big 4 of SG, they are mostly staffed with lawyers from NUS. Whereas the "real" Big firms in NY, LN, HK is staffed with people from oxbridge and ivy league, so you are not really comparing apple with apple. I think it is difficult for an NUS lawyer to get employment in NY and LN, maybe HK is the easiest option if they are thinking of getting out of SG. But it is not easy, they have HKU Law over there and they are more familiar with the local law.

You will remember the case of the son of Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng who admits evading NS. The Straits Times reported that "SC Tan remained in Singapore because of the lack of employment opportunities overseas".

s://.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/second-son-of-senior-counsel-tan-chee-meng-admits-evading-ns-for-about-6

Sorry for bursting your bubble NUS lawyers

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  #4473 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2019, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ivy lawyer View Post
Salary from Highest to Lowest :-
New York > London > Hong Kong > Singapore

If you look at the websites of the Big 4 of SG, they are mostly staffed with lawyers from NUS. Whereas the "real" Big firms in NY, LN, HK is staffed with people from oxbridge and ivy league, so you are not really comparing apple with apple. I think it is difficult for an NUS lawyer to get employment in NY and LN, maybe HK is the easiest option if they are thinking of getting out of SG. But it is not easy, they have HKU Law over there and they are more familiar with the local law.

You will remember the case of the son of Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng who admits evading NS. The Straits Times reported that "SC Tan remained in Singapore because of the lack of employment opportunities overseas".

s://.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/second-son-of-senior-counsel-tan-chee-meng-admits-evading-ns-for-about-6

Sorry for bursting your bubble NUS lawyers
Your ranking is incorrect. Compare apples to apples. On a pre-tax basis the base salary in Singapore for lawyers in MC/SC firms actually equals or even slightly exceeds that of their London counterparts. On a post-tax basis the Singaporeans are taking home far more due to much lower tax rates. For comparison, an MC London NQ would be earning 90-100k pounds (153-170k SGD), while an NQ in Singapore would be getting around 165k SGD. The London NQ would be taking home 60-66k pounds (100-115k SGD) while the SG NQ would be taking home around 135k SGD (after CPF deductions).

Don't know enough about HK and so can't comment. From what I've heard, NQs in US firms in Singapore are getting a base salary of around 20-21k per month. Make of that what you will.

Its a known fact that MC/SC firms in Singapore hire laterals primarily from the big4 (particularly for corporate roles), and that they regularly hire local grads (particularly if the hiring partner js Singaporean).

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  #4474 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2019, 01:06 AM
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Singapore Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong attributes the lack of lawyers to the low salaries and suggests an upward review. Local media reported last year that junior lawyers are paid more than double in Hong Kong, about S$11,650 a month compared to about S$4,000 in Singapore. According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, the average monthly income among employed residents was S$6,830.

This quote is a little dated from 2008, but the salary gap btw HK and SG is still the same in 2019.
What's amazing is that in the 11 years since 2008, starting salaries for newly qualified (NQ) singapore lawyers have remained largely flat and comes with all sorts of shenanigans like frontloading and clawbacks.

On the other hand, there have been year on year increases in NY London and HK NQ salaries in the 10 years since.

In 2008, NY large firms were paying $160K annual starting. In 2019, it's $190K. Excluding bonus.

If local firms are not shitty, then I dont know what is.
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  #4475 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2019, 01:16 AM
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Your ranking is incorrect. Compare apples to apples. On a pre-tax basis the base salary in Singapore for lawyers in MC/SC firms actually equals or even slightly exceeds that of their London counterparts. On a post-tax basis the Singaporeans are taking home far more due to much lower tax rates. For comparison, an MC London NQ would be earning 90-100k pounds (153-170k SGD), while an NQ in Singapore would be getting around 165k SGD. The London NQ would be taking home 60-66k pounds (100-115k SGD) while the SG NQ would be taking home around 135k SGD (after CPF deductions).

Don't know enough about HK and so can't comment. From what I've heard, NQs in US firms in Singapore are getting a base salary of around 20-21k per month. Make of that what you will.

Its a known fact that MC/SC firms in Singapore hire laterals primarily from the big4 (particularly for corporate roles), and that they regularly hire local grads (particularly if the hiring partner js Singaporean).
The training period in SG is only 6 months, and you say that the SG NQ will get 165k SGD?! That is 13k SGD/month for a NQ in SG. I do not think that this is accurate.

I heard that the MC firms in SG must partner with the local firms, and most of them do not pay the rates in London. It is far lesser.
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  #4476 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2019, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
What's amazing is that in the 11 years since 2008, starting salaries for newly qualified (NQ) singapore lawyers have remained largely flat and comes with all sorts of shenanigans like frontloading and clawbacks.

On the other hand, there have been year on year increases in NY London and HK NQ salaries in the 10 years since.

In 2008, NY large firms were paying $160K annual starting. In 2019, it's $190K. Excluding bonus.

If local firms are not shitty, then I dont know what is.
Even the Chief Justice of SG knows that the pay in SG is shitty. Read the full article

Pay Lawyers more to keep them: Chief Justice
s://.smu.edu.sg/sites/default/files/smu/news_room/smu_in_the_news/2007/sources/CNA_20070818_2.pdf
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  #4477 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2019, 01:25 AM
ivy lawyer
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SINGAPORE: More young lawyers are switching careers, citing long hours, unrewarding pay and stress as reasons. This causes a shortage of lawyers, and as the economy booms
and the demand for law services goes up, the problem is becoming more acute. How to address this problem?

"Pay them well," said Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, in his address to law students at the inaugural Singapore Legal Forum on Saturday. "Our young lawyers enjoy a degree of professional and social freedom and mobility which lawyers of my generation have never
experienced. Perhaps the solution is in the old fashion but still fashionable way of using carrots without the stick since the latter doesn't work. Pay them well. Greed works most of the time, even for the large majority of people in affluent societies," he said.

In recent years, even the best-paying firms in Singapore are seeing their young lawyers jumping ship to Hong Kong, where salaries for junior lawyers start at about S$11,650 a month. In contrast, the big firms in Singapore pay junior lawyers just over $4,000.
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  #4478 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2019, 01:39 AM
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I have a few questions.

How does one make the switch from Big 4 to international firms? word of mouth? recruiters?

How is the working hours like in international firms ?

What about salary and increment ?

What cons for the switch?
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  #4479 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2019, 05:10 AM
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I have a few questions.

How does one make the switch from Big 4 to international firms? word of mouth? recruiters?

How is the working hours like in international firms ?

What about salary and increment ?

What cons for the switch?
Better working hours, 70% increase in salary, double yearly increment. No cons. Need first class honours and good opportunity.
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  #4480 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2019, 08:42 AM
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The training period in SG is only 6 months, and you say that the SG NQ will get 165k SGD?! That is 13k SGD/month for a NQ in SG. I do not think that this is accurate.

I heard that the MC firms in SG must partner with the local firms, and most of them do not pay the rates in London. It is far lesser.
I was referring to NQs on the UK scale (i.e. 3rd year SG associates). I haven't heard of MC/SC firms hiring 1st/2nd year SG associates (at least not into NQ positions).
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