EDGE Ellison partners may be stripped of their equity status if they fail
to measure up to the “perfect partner” model drawn up by management.
As reported exclusively in The Lawyer in June (7 June), the firm is
replacing lock step remuneration with a merit-based system, which uses the
“perfect partner” model to gauge performance.
The model lists skills which partners need to demonstrate including
management/leadership, financial awareness, technical ability, business
development, and commitment. It will dictate levels of pay via a
complicated system of calculations.
Edge Ellison's senior partner James Retallack says that the plan has not
been finalised and approved but comments: “It will give existing partners
the opportunity to see if they are up to speed. If they are not, we will
give them help and if that doesn't work, they might be better off not as
equity partners. For example, they could become consultants or salaried
“It's a big deal to share profit with someone; it's very valuable and we
shouldn't allow entrance into that exclusive club unless they are up to it,
otherwise you get problems later on.”
The proposal comes as Edge Ellison announces plans to pay equity partners
in its London office a flat-rate fee of u15,000 for London weighting.
He says: “We think it's fair. It costs much more to live in London. For
example, you'd pay at least twice as much for a house in London as you
would for the same kind of house in Birmingham.”
Thirty Edge Ellison lawyers have been called in by the Law Society to take
over clients of a rival Birmingham law firm closed down by the Office for
the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS).
Officers moved into the five offices of Southhall & Co last week. It is
believed the OSS is investigating the misuse of hundreds of thousands of
pounds of client money.
Firm founder, Peter Southall and senior partner Ernest Crook have had
their practising certificates suspended. No action has been taken against
the firm's other three partners.