Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) is bracing itself for a flat profit at the end of the fourth financial year in a row. The firm, best known for insurance and professional indemnity-related litigation, has posted an average profit per equity partner (PEP) of £380,000 each year since 2004.
The results will be a blow for the firm as its attempts to introduce a modernisation programme aimed at attracting and retaining star talent.
One of the most radical changes in recent weeks has been the introduction of a discretionary bonus aimed at rewarding outstanding performance.
Another year of flat profit will increase pressure on the all-equity BLG to look for more radical measures, such as introducing a layer of salaried partners, to raise PEP.
Senior partner Richard Dedman said that the firm was "waking up to the need to be more flexible in response to a labour market that is more mobile". That's a pretty big hint of things to come.