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Singapore Law Firms Try to Hold on to Associates with Perks

Posted Jul 12, 2011 7:37 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Law firms in Singapore are trying to retain associates with perks rather than pay.

Singapore law firms increased associate pay by about 20 percent last year, but the average starting salary is only about $50,000 a year in U.S. dollars, the Asian Lawyer reports. Yet lawyers are expected to work long and unpredictable hours, according to a 2007 report by Singapore's Ministry of Justice.

Attrition is a particular problem in associate middle ranks, the story says. There are 458 lawyers with seven to 12 years of experience, down from 801 lawyers in 2005.

Among the perks being offered:

• Lounges complete with pool and foosball tables, and electric massage chairs.

• Social events such as trips to Thailand, parties and dinners.

• One-month paid sabbaticals after four years of work.

• In-office shopping and food festivals.

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