The good people at Laurence Simons, the global executive search firm, sent me data about compensation among Brazilian and other Latin American in-house lawyers. If you are interested in the entire PowerPoint, email Berta Papp.
In mid-2010, the median base salary of 31 Brazilian Regional Directors and General Counsel was US$202,915. That sum compares reasonably to median compensation levels for in-house lawyers in the United States, although not as much as lawyers at that same level of seniority. The reason for the basic comparability is not far to find: “Our research focused solely on the LATAM operations of leading and household name US and European multinationals with the exception of the banking & financial services sectors.” What this means is that large multinationals observe pay parity to a considerable extent in Brazil.
The median base salary for 16 lawyers of equivalent level in the rest of Latin America was a much more modest US$73,000. The Brazilian median seems high, but the $73,000 seems too low. It is hard to understand why Brazilian lawyers of multinationals command such high salaries relative to their counterparts elsewhere in South America.