UBS institutes slow release plan for in-house lawyers’ bonuses

Banking giant UBS has revamped bonus packages for its in-house lawyers, holding back payments in a bid to tie in top staff.

Banking giant UBS has revamped bonus packages for its in-house lawyers, holding back payments in a bid to tie in top staff.

The investment bank is retaining up to 40 per cent of bonuses for top lawyers, which will instead be paid out in instalments.

The move comes amid fierce criticism of the bonus culture at leading banks and greatly reduced packages for the majority of employees.

According to sources close to the bank, legal bonuses have not been cut as much as those for frontline staff, but it is understood that salaries have been frozen at last year’s levels.

UBS employs around 70 UK-qualified lawyers in London under head of legal for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Andrew Williams.

The bonus scheme will affect the bank’s top ­earners, with larger packages being spread out over up to two years.

UBS has announced writedowns of around $37bn (£18.5bn) since the start of the credit crunch – more than any other European bank.

It is also understood to have reduced its lawyer headcount by around 10 per cent during this time, in line with cuts across the bank’s departments.