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Clifford Chance is increasing bonuses for its London associates after undertaking an extensive review of its current system.
In a new initiative, designed to officially take into account factors such as pro bono, training and client and knowledge management, one to three-year qualified lawyers could earn an extra 10 per cent on their current base salary.
Until now, one-year qualifieds could be entitled to earn a bonus equivalent to 10 per cent of their salary, while those up to three-year qualified could expect a 20 per cent reward. This has now been increased to 20 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
Associates more than three-years qualified will still be entitled to gain around 40 per cent for meeting performance targets.
While Clifford Chance has always recognised ‘investment hours’ notched up by associates, there has not been official criteria that sets out exactly what the quality and contribution measures are that determine the level of bonuses awarded to associates. From now on, associates will have to reach three criteria to qualify. These include quality of work, billable contribution against a budgeted target of 1,700 per annum, where lawyers will be expected to reach at least 95 per cent of target. In addition, lawyers will have to reach a threshold of at least 100 hours in other areas such as pro bono to be considered for a bonus.
The revised scheme is purely centred on London. A Clifford Chance spokeswoman said: “The partnership feels there should be a certain amount of local decision making.” However, she added that no other offices are reviewing the associate bonus schemes at present.