Who’s getting the rewards?

I had a good laugh when I got home and read the 24 July edition of The Lawyer.

What I laughed about most was the reported Denton Wilde Sapte pay bonus scheme for assistants (no doubt it is not very different from those of most of the other City firms).

Assuming a low average charge-out rate of £150, a six-month qualified lawyer who works an extra 500 chargeable hours to bring themselves up to 2,000 hours will earn the firm £75,000.

In exchange for these extra hours they work, which must of course be done in the evening or on weekends, the solicitor increases their bonus from 6 per cent to 20 per cent, and receives an extra 14 per cent of £42,000 – the princely sum of £5,880 pre-tax.

If that same solicitor works another 500 chargeable hours, and these definitely can only be done in the evenings and on weekends, they earn another £75,000 for the partners, and this time receive £4,200.

I think that it is extremely generous of partners to offer such bonuses to their human capital, because what with the bonuses and extra cost of having to heat and light the offices on all those evenings and weekends, they must surely be suffering badly in order to benefit their assistants.

Basil Wetters, Siemens, Germany