A skilled and ambitious mid-tier is the key pricing dynamic of the Victorian employment law market. It keeps the mid-tiers honest and ensures that specialist/boutique firms need to be at the top of their game to actively compete.
As a result Victoria’s employment lawyers are, on average, significantly cheaper than their NSW colleagues with 42% of the market pricing in the mid-tier “sweet-spot” of $500-$600 per hour (compared to NSW’s 28%).
At the top end of town the comparative seniority of Victoria’s employment lawyers saw them as generally a touch more bullish than their NSW counterparts and, as such, more inclined to feel comfortable in the $800-$900 band (17%) than their NSW colleagues (10%). However few Victorian lawyers felt they could break through the $900 per hour mark whereas in NSW, 9% of individuals did so.
Some 94% of Victoria’s employment lawyers have use models other than the traditional hourly rate in the past year. Those that did almost universally default to Fixed Price and Capped Fees as a first option.
What is surprising is that 64% of Melbourne’s employment lawyers use retainers and only NSW bettered this (with almost 75% of individuals using such agreements in NSW). This is also well in excess of the use of retainer agreements in other practice areas in the Victorian market which tends to be around 20%-30%.
Only 10%of individuals noted the use of performance based fees which is below other states.