ASB Law shrinks hours targets

ASB Law has reduced the number of chargeable hours expected of its partners as part of a review aimed at boosting its depressed revenue.

In the 2005-06 financial year the firm’s gross fees dropped by a little more than 3 per cent to £17.6m, falling by a further 3 per cent in the 2006-07 period.

Andrew Clinton, managing partner at the firm, said the outcome of a strategic review that completed at the beginning of the year will see partners commit a greater amount of time to going out and winning clients as opposed to clocking up fee-earning hours.

“We’ve reduced the number of chargeable hours partners need to complete to allow them to get out and win work,” Clinton said. “That number varied depending on the partner, but was around 1,000. We’ve reduced that to 800 hours on the basis that partners go out to the market to win clients and develop relationships.”

As part of a revamped remuneration structure, the firm also requires partners to focus on supervising junior colleagues.

The firm’s bonus system, which previously worked on a discretionary basis, has also been overhauled and is now based on meeting certain criteria, such as the number of hours fee-earners record and the level of debt on their files.

The firm is concentrating on doing work for larger regional corporates, mid-tier corporates and the owners and senior managers of those companies.