How Much Can a Corporate Attorney Earn

Small and medium-sized law firms: Only a few lawyers are high earners


The average German lawyer generates a turnover of 200,000 euros per year. Who takes how much varies not only according to the area of ​​law, but also to a large extent according to the size of the law firm.

Lawyers in Germany have an average annual turnover of around 200,000 euros, the average pre-tax profit is around 96,500 euros. This emerges from the study "Legal activity of the present" by the Soldan Institute, for which 1,593 professionals in small to medium-sized law firms were surveyed. However, these revenues vary considerably depending on the size of the law firm and area of ​​law.

After that, the majority of lawyers specializing in business administration law, corporate law, building and architectural law, insolvency law as well as banking and capital market law achieve a personal fee turnover of 150,000 euros and more. Lawyers who specialize in commercial and business law, accounting and tax law, and insurance law, for example, also earn above average. On the other hand, areas of activity in criminal, family, administrative or rental and residential property law tend to pay less. 81 percent of lawyers who focus on social law have a turnover of less than 150,000 euros a year.

The study also shows that half of all individual lawyers achieve a turnover of less than 100,000 euros and, with an average expense ratio of around 50 percent, a profit of just 53,400 euros. "However, you have to take into account that 49 percent of these individual lawyers do not work full-time," explains Prof. Dr. Matthias Kilian, Director of the Soldan Institute. "For at least 18 percent of the individual attorneys, the earnings situation is quite favorable with sales of 200,000 euros and more."

In general, the turnover per capita in the examined small and medium-sized law firms is highest with four to five professionals and is 240,178 euros. In law firms with six or more professionals, however, according to the study, it falls again because the proportion of employed lawyers is higher. They are often young professionals and therefore achieve lower sales or work for a partner without their entire working hours leading to sales.

acr / LTO editorial team

Small and medium-sized law firms: Only a few lawyers are high earners. In: Legal Tribune Online, 03.03.2017, (accessed on: May 20, 2021)

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