BLP: Firm yet soft

Mention the words ’bonus’ and ’banker’ to the average man or woman on the street and you can expect to see their face twist with rage at the injustice of it all.

’Bonus’ and ’lawyer’ is a much less volatile combination, however. And that’s fortunate for Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) because the firm has upped the stakes with its bonus pool, raising the performance-based element of equity partner pay from 20 per cent to 25 per cent (see story).

The move seems to be in line with BLP’s ambitious growth strategy – you don’t increase profit by more than 50 per cent in one year by signalling to partners that they’re perfect just the way they are.

The firm’s remuneration committee has also been told to put more focus on soft factors when deciding an equity partner’s pay – for instance, how often a partner calls their mum, or whether they get their pets from rescue centres.

Well, not really. It’s actually more of a focus on intangible qualities like business development and client courting. Nabarro did a similar thing recently (see story).

It’s all very holistic – there’ll be acupuncture sessions for under-performers next.