Perth’s large, mid-tier and specialist employment law firms all tend to set their hourly rates higher than would typically be expected for a market of that size. Perth’s employment lawyers reap the rewards of heft price increases during the city’s famous boom periods and a limited pool of firms truly practising in the areas ensures that in leaner times competition isn’t quite as strong as in other major Australian markets. As a guide Perth has less than half of the “employment” lawyers that Brisbane does yet has 85% of the population and WA has roughly 82% of the GDP. In our view Perth isn’t over-catered when it comes to employment lawyers – Brisbane and other cities are.
As highlighted above Perth’s employment lawyers aren’t cheap but there are clear “bands” with such bands typically based around firm type. An employment lawyer at a “mid-tier” or local firm should typically be expected to priced between $550-$650 per hour and at larger national and international firms prices in the low $700’s per hour should be considered standard.
Perth Employment & WHS Lawyers Pricing (Hourly Rates)
|Hourly Rate||Market Share|
|$450 - $500||8%|
|$500 - $550||11%|
|$550 - $600||13%|
|$600 - $650||27%|
|$650 - $700||10%|
|$700 - $750||25%|
|$750 - $800||0%|
|$800 - $850||5%|
|$850 - $900||0%|
Perhaps reflective of our comments in relation to the competitive forces operating across the Perth employment law market there’s an acceptance of alternative pricing but it’s not as popular as in other Australian jurisdictions.
Perth is one of the few jurisdictions where there’s little distinction between the frequency of use of fixed pricing and capped fees. When coupled with an Australian low of 4% of firms adopting outcome/success-based fee structures it’s reasonable to suggest that Perth’s employment lawyers buck the WA trend of a welcoming acceptance of risk.