Taylor Wessing has ramped up its traditionally tough approach to financial management with a 24-point financial management memo to all partners giving guidance on billing procedures.
The 'credit control golden rules' memo issued by credit control department head Nick Moser is designed to increase efficiency and return at the firm. It offers plain English advice, such as working only for clients that can pay their bills, never to surprise a client with a bill and to charge only what clients have agreed to pay for.
Files will be removed from fee-earners if bills have not been paid after four months, and partners' profits shares can be withheld if golden rules guidelines have been ignored. The latter sanction was introduced last year but has yet to be used.
Taylor Wessing has had a tough approach to financial management for years and is among the most efficiently run firms in the City. Current managing partner Michael Frawley was responsible for improving significantly the firm's working capital position when he was head of the credit control committee.
The firm's tough new approach is reflected by the fact that 12 partners will be leaving the equity over the next two years, as first revealed by The Lawyer (16 May 2005), which should see profit at the firm rise significantly next year.