Fellows and Associates Annual Salary Survey

Fellows and Associates Annual Salary Survey

Bonus vs Billable Hours Payment

Salary comparisons are a difficult task to undertake.  This is most often due to the inherent nature of what makes up a salary package and how terminology is interpreted by individuals. For the 5th year in a row now, we at Fellows and Associates have tried to tackle this issue via our annual salary survey of the Intellectual Property sector.  To get to the heart of the matter by separating out the individual parts that make up ones benefits package and thereby allow for meaningful comparisons with others in this diverse industry.


The one issue I feel we have struggled with most in the past is bonuses and I’d hazard a guess our readers would concur. Bonuses are a tricky one – is it a bonus only if it based on company performance and not wholly impacted by your performance alone?  What about bonuses based on billable hours? Some people feel that this isn’t a true bonus as it is, depending on the company, always achievable and completely within one’s own control therefore could be viewed as more of a commission or variable base salary.

This year, as part of our continual improvement project on our annual salary survey (currently live and available for contribution at www.fellowssurvey.com), we have specifically separated our bonus questions asking about those that relate to billable hours achieved and then, additionally, those that are unrelated to billable hours.  This will allow us to review each of the data points in isolation as well as in comparison to each other and again as a whole.

Of course, as always, the biggest challenge we face is simply being able to collect a sufficiently sized data sample on which to base our analysis.  The greater the number of participants, the more robust the data and the more representative the resulting report will be of the current market.  Anonymity often plays a part in a person’s willingness to participate so I would like to reassure readers that there is no need to provide your name at all.  If you wish to be entered into the prize draw to win an Amazon Gift Card worth £100 and then we simply need a valid email in order to contact you should you win.

We’re hoping this enhancement to our survey is the catalyst to generate sufficient willing participants to ensure a truly informative report.  There’s still time - so have your say at www.fellowssurvey.com by Monday 29 February 2016.

Written by Michele Fellows, Director, Fellows and Associates

Fellows and Associates recruit Patent Attorneys, Trade Mark Attorneys, IP Lawyers and other Intellectual Property professionals worldwide. The firm offers a diverse range of recruitment services including search, advertised selection and managed campaigns. Fellows and Associates’ management consultancy division offers targeted strategic advice to firms within the Intellectual Property sector worldwide. See http://www.fellowsandassociates.com for more, phone +44 207 903 5019 or email contact@fellowsandassociates.com.