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Tokyo Legal Salary Indications: 2009/2010

by on March 5, 2010

Generally salaries for lawyers in Tokyo are amongst the highest in the world. Even relative to the cost of living in Tokyo (see below), it is possible to be remunerated generously.

UK firms tend to structure their salary packages in different ways. Some firms offer an ‘ex-pat’ package where salaries are linked to the lawyers’ level of qualification in London with a significant additional cost of living allowance. Other benefits typically offered include airfares home, health care, gym membership and sometimes even tax advice prior to relocating. Some firms will even allow their lawyers to nominate periodically whether they are paid in sterling or Yen – thereby allowing their lawyers to benefit from any variations in exchange rates.
US firms, on the other hand, will tend to offer a lump-sum salary which will be higher than that on offer from the UK firms, but there will be no other benefits on offer. Certain US firms, however, will give New York rates plus uplift, plus accommodation. Salaries and packages are firm specific rather than location specific.

No matter what the structure, compensation for lawyers with international firms is significantly higher than that of their counterparts.  While this gap may narrow as local firms try to recruit more lawyers with international experience, the strict regulation of foreign lawyers’ ability to practice in Japan will likely keep the disparity as it is for years to come.  You can see the full report on lawyer salaries by going here or clicking the link below and signing up to receive our salary surveys, not only for Tokyo, but also Hong Kong and Singapore as well.

2009/2010 Salary Surveys

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