HomeLawyer ArticlesHighest Paying Law Firms In Australia

Highest Paying Law Firms In Australia

The legal industry in Australia is thriving, with lawyers demanding more and more money as they specialize their skills and become experts in specific areas of law. Law firms all over the country are looking to hire the best lawyers to represent their clients, and as such, competition is fierce when it comes to attracting new talent. To help give you an idea of the highest paying law firms in Australia, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 highest paying law firms in AU.

1. Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz is an Australian law firm and one of its largest full-service commercial law firms. The firm was founded in Sydney in 1887 by Edmund Dwyer and remained a small family-owned business until it became a public company on 8 May 2004. It was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and is now headed by managing partner Peter Gray, who began his legal career with Clayton Utz in 1984.

2. Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Headquartered in Melbourne, Corrs Chambers Westgarth is widely known as one of Australia’s leading full-service law firms. The firm is proud to have received numerous prestigious awards over its long history, including being named Law Firm of The Year at both national and international levels. Clients praise its superior communication skills and excellent track record. With offices throughout Australasia, Corrs Chambers Westgarth also handles corporate business overseas.

3. Allens Arthur Robinson

Allens Arthur Robinson is one of Australia’s leading full-service law firms. It was established in 1858 and has approximately 900 staff members, spread across offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and Auckland. The firm advises on corporate and securities law, banking and finance law, capital markets transactions, funds management services, and investment services, energy projects development work (including clean energy), infrastructure projects (including water infrastructure) as well as acquisition finance work.

4. Herbert Smith Freehills AU

Herbert Smith Freehills is an Australian full-service law firm that was established in Sydney, New South Wales, in 1875. They now have over 1200 staff members located across 11 countries, working out of 40 offices. The average salary for a legal professional at Herbert Smith Freehills AU is AU$125K per year. This is calculated as about AU$18/hr. or AU$21,000/month.

5. Mallesons Stephen Jaques

In terms of earnings, Mallesons Stephen Jaques is the highest paying law firm. It’s been positioned at the top position for the last 7 years. In the year 2011, it earned a salary of around $130,000 for its most junior associate. If we talk about 2nd and 3rd position then Minter Ellison and Baker & McKenzie tied on 3rd rank with a salary of $135,000 and $130,000 respectively.

6. Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin’s primary services include corporate and commercial, insolvency and restructuring, employment, project, and infrastructure finance. The average salary is AUD 180k (120k USD). However, most partners can expect to earn anywhere from AUD 250-350k. Great for lawyers who want to work hard but also take some time off for vacation/holidays. The firm offers first-year associates around 4 weeks of vacation per year that increases as you gain experience/rank at the firm.

7. King & Wood Mallesons

This law firm is pretty impressive with its average revenue per partner at $1.46 million per year. The catch here is that King & Wood Mallesons has more than 3,000 partners, which makes their revenue-per-partner average much higher than other companies that have fewer partners. However, if you’re looking for a good salary as a lawyer in Australia, you should consider applying to work for KWM.

8. DLA Piper

The largest of Australia’s Magic Circle law firms, DLA Piper is a global leader in business law, with offices on five continents. Their headquarters are located in Sydney’s Darling Harbor, and their lucrative law practice has made them one of Australia’s highest-earning companies. They were named #1 by The Australian Financial Review for ten years running.

9. Ashurst AU

Ashurst’s market capitalization is about $2.5 billion, and it operates from 29 offices in 19 countries. It has a presence in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. The firm advises on mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, restructuring, and insolvency work. The minimum fee for its Australian-qualified lawyers is AU$1,650 per hour.

10. Baker & McKenzie

At Baker & McKenzie, you’ll be offered a comprehensive training program designed to prepare you for a career with one of Australia’s most prestigious firms. Headquartered in Sydney, with offices across Australia and internationally, Baker & McKenzie offers an extensive range of legal services including corporate, tax, and commercial law. In addition to competitive salary packages, Baker & McKenzie offers generous bonuses for high performers.

The law is a lucrative career, no matter where you live. Some positions earn more than $250,000 per year—in addition to generous benefits packages—in almost every area of legal practice. Here are some key tips for breaking into one of these sought-after positions: Make connections early in your career—these can take years to pay off, but when they do they’ll help you take your practice or company to new heights.


  1. What are the different types of law firms in Australia?

There are two types of law firms – commercial and litigation. Commercial law firms work with companies to advise them on their business operations and advise businesses on how they can enter into agreements and contracts.

  • How to target the top firms?

The best way to do that is to ask alums and current attorneys who work there what kind of resumes they like to see or who you should be networking with at your law school. Once you’ve worked on putting together a resume, cover letter, and optionally some letters of recommendation for each firm/position you’re applying for, submit them online.

  • What makes up a law firm’s ranking and reputation?

A law firm’s reputation is mainly reflected by its past track record of high-quality work, especially on cases that may be looked at as controversial. A reputation is also created through networking with other high-profile attorneys and judges within an area of law.

  • How can I find the right firm for me?

Choosing a law firm can be one of your most important decisions because you are entrusting your future to them. If you are thinking about joining a law firm then you need to be sure that it is right for you. However, many factors should be considered before deciding which type of law firm to join.

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