HR survey: Berwin Leighton Paisner

HR head
Geoff Griffin.

Trainee retention rate
78 per cent.

Assistant attrition rate
14 per cent.

Salary range
NQ – £48,000;
1-3 years’ PQE – £51,000-£65,000;
4-6 years’ PQE – £55,000-£90,000.

Bonuses relate to client introduction and to the introduction of staff. Client introduction is paid on a commission basis at the rate of 10 per cent of fees received for work in the first 12 months, to a maximum of £15,000. Staff introduction bonuses are paid half on joining, the remainder after six months. For fee-earners, the bonus is £5,000; for non-fee earning staff, the bonus is £1,500.

A comprehensive training programme covers black letter law, focused personal improvement skills training and residential management development, reviewed and revised on a regular basis.

Formal process of annual appraisals and mid-year career development reviews, in conjunction with informal discussions at partner team meetings. Upward feedback is completed on partners by fee-earners. All assistants receive 360° feedback at two-years’ qualified as part of a personality profiling exercise.

Partner progression
Seventy-eight per cent of current partners are home-grown, with 28 laterals. Youngest partner 28. Partner selection begins with a nomination by the practice group, the completion of a partnership nomination form, due diligence by a vetting committee and a formal partnership vote.

Billable hours target
1,500 for assistants, variable for partners.

Flexible and part-time working
No formal flexible working hours policy, but requests are considered. Part-time working available.

Holiday entitlement
Twenty-five days on joining, rising to 31 days with service.

Private medical insurance health screens, group life assurance, employee assistance programme, permanent health insurance and long-service awards. Pension contributions are available to all staff at 5 per cent, rising to 7.5 per cent if an individual contributes 2.5 per cent.