Haarmann reorganisation embraces lockstep system

Haarmann Hemmelrath has completed a major internal reorganisation, overhauling its profits distribution system and partnership structure.

From July, the German firm will move away from an ‘eat what you kill’ style of remuneration and instead will opt for a lockstep system for its junior equity partners. This is designed to reflect seniority as well as individually assessed performance.

On top of the structure, there will be a small bonus pool to reward what the firm describes as “outstanding performance, including in particular successful acquisitions”.

Haarmann’s founding partner Alexander Hemmel-rath said: “The new system creates above all increased financial security, in particular for young partners and lateral hires, for whom the risks of a predominantly performance-based remuneration are difficult to calculate.”

In addition, the partnership will be restructured into individual national partnerships with an umbrella international organisation sitting above it.

Those partners currently classed as ‘junior’ will become ‘national’ partners.

Equity partners will also be partners of the umbrella international partnership. This will allow the firm to continue to operate in less profitable jurisdictions while paying the most productive partners out of the international profits pool.

Hemmelrath said: “Our objective is still to drive forward and expand those offices we regard as being of strategic importance. We’ll continue to maintain our broad national and international presence.”

According to the firm, a large majority of partners voted in favour of the changes to the partnership.

l Haarmann has split with its former head of corporate recovery and insolvency following a “difference of opinion” over the reorganisation of the department.
Michael Thierhoff is leaving the firm with corporate recovery partner Thomas Illy to set up a specialist practice.

Leadership of the six-partner department has been taken on by Haarmann junior, or non-equity, partner Andreas Ziegenhagen, who hopes to increase the firm’s focus on offering insolvency-related legal advice as well as insolvency administration.

Commenting on the departures, Hemmelrath said: “Major differences of opinion in key areas emerged during discussions on the restructuring of the firm. In terms of the future development of the firm, it was right and essential that we should go our separate ways.”