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Salary Survey: Who Receives the Highest Wages

Alison O'Connell LATINLAWYER.COM

LACCA’s latest research into in-house salaries reveals that GCs in Chile and Brazil receive the highest wages in Latin America, while companies in highly regulated industries such as the pharmaceutical, food and drink, construction and financial services sectors provide the most competitive compensation packages.

In fact, in addition to boasting a strong and stable economy, Chile claims one of the most skilled workforces in the region, meaning companies must provide adequate compensation packages to retain the best talent. According to our research, GCs or those in equivalent positions in the country are paid an average annual salary of around US $149,000, approximately 22% higher than their peers in neighbouring Argentina, and 26% more than their colleagues in Peru. “In Chile there are highly qualified GCs, with vast experience, many of whom have studied abroad, the market and clients are sophisticated and globalised, so the war for talent is higher here,” says Alejandro Rubilar, managing director and head of legal corporate affairs at multinational investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co.

More risk, more reward

Similar to the results of our 2017 Salary Survey, it was respondents working in heavily regulated industries that reported the thickest pay packets. The most regulated industries tend to be those that have the most impact on lives and can cause the most potential to harm, so it comes as no surprise that GCs in the pharmaceutical sector boasted the largest compensation packages, averaging around US $202,433 for lawyers in a GC or equivalent senior-level position. All aspects of the life cycle of new drugs are regulated, from patent application and marketing approval, to commercial exploitation, patent expiration and the production of generics. “It does not surprise me that pharmaceuticals are at the top of the list because it is a highly profitable and highly regulated industry,” says Barrett Avigdor, managing director at legal recruitment company, Major, Lindsey & Africa.

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