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Drew and Napier LLC Singapore Lawyer Salary Information [Big 4 Law Firm] - updated June 2023

June 10, 2023

Drew & Napier LLC is amongst Singapore's top-tier law firms. Recognized as part of the Big 4 law firms, its reputation extends to its distinguished work in Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property and Competition practices. This article aims to give clarity to Drew & Napier's salary scale, work-life harmony, and the kind of work you can expect at this renowned firm.

Salary Bands

In a bid to create transparency for both budding legal graduates and seasoned professionals, we have gathered an outline of the pay structure at Drew & Napier LLC. These figures are derived from public online forums and cross-checked across anonymous sources, and therefore, may sometimes be inaccurate and will need regular updates.

  • Traineeship: At present, trainees receive a monthly salary of $2,000 for the six months following the Part B Examinations. It is to be noted that changes are anticipated with an extension of the internship period to one year, and a proposed salary hike to around $2,500 per month. It's important to point out that, according to sources, the intern pay rate has been said to have remained at $2,000 since around 2006 for all Big 4 Law Firms.
  • Legal Executive: For a brief period of 1-2 months, before legal executives receive their Bar admission, the salary is reportedly said to be at $7,000 per month, the same as the salary for Newly Qualified lawyers (NQ) subsequently.
  • NQ (Newly Qualified): Once you are called to the Bar until the beginning of the following year (roughly five months), the salary is said to be $7,000 per month. The total remuneration also includes a front-loaded bonus (explained below).
  • 1PQE: In the subsequent year, the salary is said to increase to $7,500 per month.
  • Every subsequent year: From then on, the salary is expected to rise consistently by approximately $1,000 per month every subsequent year, in keeping with industry norms.

Front-Loaded Bonus

It is vital to note that these salaries encompass front-loaded bonuses, that is, a part of the end-year bonus is included in the monthly pay.

Hence, if your end-year bonus is, for instance, $30,000, you may receive only $6,000 during the bonus season as it is considered that you have already received the remaining bonus within your monthly salaries.

This has the advantage of ensuring you aren't denied a large amount if you decide to leave the firm before the bonus season. However, the downside is that your actual basic salary is 60-80% of the stated total compensation. Therefore, factoring in the work hours and the opportunity cost borne by lawyers, it becomes challenging to assert that this is a competitive salary compared to other sectors.

Nature of Work

Contrary to several local law firms, Drew & Napier LLC is acknowledged for promoting a more balanced work-life rhythm, particularly in its corporate sectors. However, several factors such as the team/partner you are assigned and the nature of work/clients can significantly alter the work intensity. The work speed is unquestionably fast, and hours can occasionally extend, especially in the litigation sections.

With Drew & Napier LLC, you become part of a group handling some of Singapore's most notable transactions. Working in tandem with some of the most adept partners and peers, you will manoeuvre a high-velocity environment, offering a steep but fulfilling learning journey. The expectations are high and the work demanding, yet the scope for professional development and the opportunity to be part of landmark legal work is an aspect to consider.


Drew & Napier LLC emerges as one of the more appealing law firms in Singapore for new graduates and young lawyers. While the competitiveness of the salaries may be debatable, the chance to work on high-visibility cases puts Drew & Napier LLC in an enviable position as an employer.

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