Legal market anoraks, here is your festive hoorah: Herbert Smith Freehills’ vote on its new remuneration structure is to jingle-bell its way into town before Christmas. God bless us, every one.
If ‘tis the season to be jolly, the firm’s chosen system – on track to be a hybrid of the two existing models – will aim to keep partners from both legacy firms full of tralalalala. And possibly eggnog. But like any post-merger restructure, the decision process is likely to be tough (see analysis).
Those at the top of equity at legacy Freehills, which has a performance-based modified lockstep, reportedly received an annual salary of up to AUS$1.8m (£1.02m) before bonuses in 2011/12 – enough to fill Santa’s sleigh to the brim with Christmas fleece onesies.
But sources say these top performers have been reluctant to wed with legacy Herbert Smith’s rigid eight-year lockstep, concerned any compromise could lead to a pay cut and discount store stocking fillers. “Bah! Humbug!” is what they might say on voting day.
Meanwhile, Slaughter and May has tried not to be Ebenezer Scrooge. Yesterday the cheery firm told staff they would all receive a discretionary bonus for the first time since it abandoned its rigid associate lockstep in May.
Deck the halls, with boughs of lolly.
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