We were recently delighted to see our research quoted in a piece in The Lawyer (‘Don’t rely on lawyers for your firm’s success‘, 10 December), in which our data was used to show the importance of law firm chiefs and operational directors.

The piece discussed the surge in appointments of operational directors and business chiefs in recent times, who are ‘capable of driving up profitability’. Totum’s research was quoted as follows:

‘The going rate for a top-of-market chief executive currently stands at £501,000, research by legal recruiter Totum suggests, while COO salaries at firms with revenue above £501m are now averaging £394,000. And while you may be forgiven for thinking that top-end salaries apply only to the mega-firms, the research shows that a six-figure-salary is the norm for firms in the below £50m revenue bracket too.  At this level, salaries range from an average £139,000 for a BD and marketing director to £162,000 for a chief executive.’

The Lawyer also used Totum’s research into sign-on bonuses – showing that 70% of firms use them, with over half (51%) also offering exceptional bonuses to bolster retention. It also discussed figures showing that more business services leaders are being given equity partnership, particularly in smaller firms.

The feature concluded that the hierarchy of the traditional law firm is changing: ‘No longer can lawyers afford to treat their professional support networks as secondary in terms of value and contribution. The chiefs and directors are the very people who can execute an ESG strategy which can sustain a firm. In doing so, they are setting the tone for the next generation.’

We are delighted that our research is underpinning such findings – reinforcing our long-held view that business services professionals are indeed pivotal to the successful development of their firms.

Click here if you would like to see the full article as it appeared in The Lawyer, December 2021.

Click here, if you would like to see our full report, ‘Rewarding leadership: Chief and Director salary and bonus report, June 2021’, from which these figures were taken. We’re always happy to chat through latest salaries and bonuses – contact our team if you would like to find out more on developments into 2022.