Start-up sports boutique Northridge Law has begun recruiting for a training contract.

The firm was founded by four Charles Russell Speechlys partners, James Eighteen, Jonathan Ellis, Ian Lynam and Jon Walters, in October 2017. Between them they advise numerous names from the world of sport, including key client the Football Association, Premiership Rugby and Dele Alli.

As well as a group of associates, the partners brought two Charles Russell Speechlys paralegals with them, who were taken on as trainees, but have now started looking for 2019 and 2020 intakes. The starting salary for a first-year will be £38,000.

The firm will take on two trainees in each and give them seats in corporate/commercial and litigation/arbitration. In-house secondments with the Football Association and a Premiership football team are also on offer. A secondment in Brussels may also become available.

Northridge has also introduced a new bonus system where one fifth of profits are put aside for its employees.

Under the firm’s scheme all staff, including trainees, will be treated as a ‘fifth partner’ with 20 per cent of its profits put in a pool as a team bonus. The amount paid out to individuals will not be performance-related.

“One of the more interesting parts of setting up our own law firm has been working out how to pay the team,” said partner Jon Walters. “Remuneration strategy in sport is something we’ve done a lot of work on so it’s been great to get the opportunity to put the theory into practice in our own industry.”

“Much like in football clubs, compensation models in law firms haven’t changed much in the past 30 years. Our goal was to create a pay structure which aligns interests, incentivises the right behaviours and allows each member of the team to share in the firm’s success.”

“Based on our projections, our trainees’ and associates’ minimum expected earnings – i.e. base pay plus profit share, before any individual bonuses – will be competitive with the UK’s elite magic circle firms, and far outstrip any other UK sports law practice, whether in a boutique firm or within a larger multi-disciplinary firm.”

In January, Charles Russell Speechlys acquired sports law boutique Couchmans to replace the departed partners, in its first major tie-up as a merged firm.