Eversheds to modernise fee-earner pay system

Eversheds is reviewing its fee-earner pay structure, with the firm aiming to put changes in place for the 2013-14 financial year.

Bryan Hughes
Bryan Hughes

Eversheds chief executive Bryan Hughes, who was handed a second term in the role yesterday after standing unopposed (9 October 2012), told The Lawyer that the firm was reviewing its remuneration strategy for fee-earners with the aim of modernising it.

“We’ve got a fairly traditional [remuneration] model at the moment,” said Hughes, “and now we’re asking: is what we’ve got motivating the right behaviours?”

Hughes said that no decisions had yet been made about the kind of pay model the firm would adopt and that the firm may even go for a ‘horses for courses’ approach, with different models for different parts of the business.

Eversheds’ human resources director Angus MacGregor is leading the team conducting the review, reporting to managing partner Lee Ranson, who is in charge of the firm’s people strategies. Hughes oversees client strategies.

Eversheds is initially focusing on fee-earner remuneration, though the firm’s earlier idea to look at offering all staff a stake in the business also fits with the review. (3 August 2012). Hughes added that the firm will also look at the client-partner role, with the aim of giving partners in charge of client relationships more responsibility

Average profit per equity partner at Eversheds in 2011-12 was £632,000, according to The Lawyer’s UK200 survey. The firm binned its lockstep in favour of a merit-based partner remuneration system in 2006 (24 April 2006). At present there are 12 bands on the equity ladder and partners have their bandings reviewed every two years based on five criteria: profit, clients, team development, behaviour and strategic value.

Fixed-share partners, meanwhile, can progress up a five-band ladder with a possible 25 per cent bonus.