Jump to content

Insurance In House Counsel Positions


notoriousrbg
 Share

Recommended Posts

notoriousrbg
  • Lawyer

I'm a junior at an insurance defence firm in Ontario. I want to make the switch to an in house counsel position for a better work life balance. I've heard some in house positions still require you to keep track of your hours and reach a target amount of hours and other places you still end up working a lot. I'm just wondering if anyone has an opinion on which insurance company would be the best for a better work life balance and the salary range for a third year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ramesses

I met a guy from Intact at a networking event a while back and I think he said he starts around 9:30 and ends at 4:30. Takes an hour or two for lunch. No hours but number of settlements per year. He worked at ICBC before and that was a pretty nice gig too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jaggers

I know a bunch of insurance defence lawyers, and I don't think most of them track their hours. They have internal metrics for handling cases, settlements, etc., but those are mostly focused on corporate efficiency. Though if you're lazy and dog it all the time, it may show up in those numbers and cause you problems. I don't think it's generally an area where you would expect to work nearly as many hours in-house vs in a firm (with compensation reflecting that).

For a third year, I'd expect to make about the same as you do right now (recognizing that you are not going to be getting those $10-$20K annual increases in future years that you would expect in a firm). That's probably mostly true up to about 5th year, after which it becomes really hard to offer what the firms offer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

beyondsection17
  • Lawyer

Intact and TD are widely known as being very easy places to work, for better or for worse. I've heard Travelers makes lawyers docket their hours, I'm not sure who else does. From what I understand, Aviva is generally a tougher gig than Intact because you might actually go to trial, and trials are a lot of work, but it is still good for work-life balance the rest of the time. If I were to go to an insurance company today, I'd probably pick Aviva.

Edited by beyondsection17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
notoriousrbg
  • Lawyer

Thanks for the responses. Does anyone know on average how much a partner at an insurance defence firm makes vs how much senior counsel makes in house?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rusty Iron Ring
  • Lawyer

You can check ZSA's website for really general information.

A partner's income can vary enormously depending on how much work they do, how much they bring in/delegate, what their rates are, etc.  It can be a good living, or it can be a very good living. But it will never be a relaxing, low-stress living. 

In-house senior lawyers make much less than they likely would at a firm. But they trade that off for much better hours, no mucking about with client development, and usually some pretty sweet benefits, perks, and the holy grail of all low-stress job choices - a pension. 

Honestly, everyone I know who has gone in house has been quite happy after the switch. But you definitely need to expect a pay cut. 

Edited by Rusty Iron Ring
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say that for someone going in house now, qualifying for a defined benefit pension would be rare. I think almost every company in the country has by now closed them to new participants. You'll get a DC pension with some sort of matching, but the holy grail is now even more rarified. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rusty Iron Ring
  • Lawyer
26 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

I would say that for someone going in house now, qualifying for a defined benefit pension would be rare. I think almost every company in the country has by now closed them to new participants. You'll get a DC pension with some sort of matching, but the holy grail is now even more rarified. 

Interesting.  A couple of friends who went in maybe 3-4 years back have DB pensions.  I have a couple more friends who went over more recently, and I'm going to ask them. It would be too bad if that's the case. For me the prospect of a DB pension is one of the biggest reasons to consider moving. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot were closed in the period from around 2015-2019. The really low interest rates after 2008 made them much more expensive to fund. It's possible that with higher rates now, assuming people think those are going to be around for a while, we might see a trend in the other direction, but I haven't seen that yet.

I haven't seen a broad market survey or anything, and there are definitely some companies that still have them, but it's a lot fewer than it was 10 years ago.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jfox
  • Law Student

Hey, does anyone know approximate figures for compensation? Like the difference between what senior in-house counsel makes versus what a boutique partner makes. Sorry if it’s too broad a question. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MOL
  • Lawyer

Senior In-House Insurance lawyers, depending upon province, tap out somewhere in the $175-200K range base salary. But you have to look at the total compensation package; bonus scheme which when I last talked to an inhouse person about it was ridiculously easy to hit targets, pension as mentioned, stock purchase plans, full whack bennies, cheap home/auto insurance, computer purchase programs, fitness subsidies etc. I appreciate some firms also kick in this kind of stuff as well.

Also, no need to chase files or clients. Some do require docketing, Intact did for a while but may have stopped that. I wasn't aware that Travelers did. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By accessing this website, you agree to abide by our Terms of Use. YOU EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOU WILL NOT CONSTRUE ANY POST ON THIS WEBSITE AS PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE EVEN IF SUCH POST IS MADE BY A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE A LAWYER. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.