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Eversheds has taken a leaf out of the Football Association's rule book and is set to introduce a yellow and red card scheme to spur partners into tightening up their lockup performance.
Eversheds set to red card sloppy partners" /> Eversheds has taken a leaf out of the Football Association's rule book and is set to introduce a yellow and red card scheme to spur partners into tightening up their lockup performance.
The new scheme will see partners receive a yellow card if bills are not sent out in reasonable time. In a slight departure from football rules, if partners continue to fail to bill, they will get a second yellow and finally a red card, which will see an equity partner's drawings being withheld or a fixed-share partner's bonus cut until a bill has been sent to the client.
Eversheds chief executive David Gray told The Lawyer: "The scheme will also help give partners more of a commercial focus in their practices, which will improve the overall efficiencies in the business and provide a smoother service to clients." Gray, who has a long-term aim to reduce Eversheds' lockup to double-digits, added that currently it is in line with the professional average of 110 days, which he believes is not good enough in light of the bleak economic forecast.
He explained that the firm's current drawings arrangement sees equity partners effectively receive half of their profit share in the first year, with the balance being paid each quarter over the following year. "Under the cards scheme, if a partner has a red card that quarter's balance simply will not be paid," said Gray.
Eversheds decided to launch the scheme after consulting the partnership last November. Implementation on a department-wide basis was rejected as it was felt that a whole group should not have to suffer for one partner's actions.
Gray said: "The scheme has the support of the partnership as it should be a priority to get paid for services we've provided. After all, we're not a charity."