Optimism as Addleshaws unfreezes salaries

Addleshaw Goddard has restructured its non-partner bonus arrangement after nobody received the payment last year and, in a sign of greater optimism, has also ended a two-year salary freeze.

The firm has introduced a discretionary bonus award for exceptional performance. The pool was calculated at 40 per cent of the amount that would have been available under normal arrangements. A third of those eligible received a bonus.

The firm paid associates bonuses ranging from 3 per cent to 10 per cent of base salary. To qualify for a bonus, individuals needed to have recorded a minimum of 1,450 chargeable hours and achieved the required performance rating. Some support staff were also paid bonuses. Managers received payments of between 6 per cent and 10 per cent of base salary, while other staff got a fixed sum of between £875 and £1,000.

In addition, the firm has ended its salary freeze. Salaries will be up for review on the basis of market rate, individual performance and market conditions.

Addleshaws managing partner Paul Devitt commented: “Conditions have been challenging but the payment of a discretionary bonus, together with the salary review, reflects our determination to recognise the important contribution made by strong performers.”

In 2009-10 the 32 per cent profit trigger needed for the bonus scheme to kick in was not reached. In fact, Addleshaws had a profit margin of 26 per cent last year on a total turnover of £173m, down from 33 per cent the previous year.