Lawyers are earning more than Accountants in UK
Lawyers and accountants join multi-million pay club as nearly 1,400 partners were paid more than £1m last year, study claims
By RUTH SUNDERLAND
PUBLISHED: 00:07, 23 July 2014 | UPDATED: 00:07, 23 July 2014
Nearly 1,400 senior lawyers and accountants were paid more than £1million last year, according to a report.
Company executives have been subjected to vitriolic attacks over their pay, averaging £4.5million for a FTSE 100 chief.
Partners at law and accountancy firms have largely escaped scrutiny because, unlike listed corporations, they are not obliged to disclose the rewards doled out to top staff.
Excessive pay: Partners at law and accountancy firms were found to receive large pay packages
But think-tank the High Pay Centre found that leading bean counters and legal eagles account for around 13 per cent of multi-million pound pay packets in the UK.
The study looked into rewards at the Big Four accountants – PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte and EY – along with the five ‘magic circle’ law firms of Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer and Slaughter & May.
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Average rewards for partners in the accountancy firms stood at £700,000 in 2013, with 270 individuals on more than a million a year, and at £1.1million for the lawyers.
The senior partner at PwC was paid £3.6million, while the top partner at Deloitte received £2.7million and the boss of KPMG made £2.4million. The highest paid partner at Allen & Overy received £1.6million.
Deborah Hargreaves, director of the High Pay Centre, said: ‘It is not just the usual suspects of bankers and chief executives – excessive top pay has infected other professions too.
‘They are all part of the high pay merry-go-round and disclosure of top pay is really patchy.’
Some company executives complain that while their rewards must be spelled out in the annual report and voted on by shareholders, professional services firms can draw a veil over their high pay.
The same applies to well-rewarded private equity barons, who are under no obligation to reveal their packages, and to senior investment bankers and traders who do not sit on a bank board.