Clifford Chance is set for a radical overhaul of its associate bonus system, with the maximum award now open only to senior associates and payments no longer based primarily on hours worked….
A spokesperson for Clifford Chance said: “While billable and investment hours continue to be important, the bonus will not be directly linked to achieving a target number of hours. We’ll weigh a number of factors to ensure a balanced and flexible bonus scheme.”
Dear Lord, it looks like the American epidemic of moving towards merit-based compensation just hopped a transatlantic flight.
But don’t worry Clifford Chance New Yorkers, your bonus requirements will not be affected by the changes in London…
We talked with a spokesperson about how Clifford Chance’s new bonus policy will affect New York associates. At this point, it doesn’t look like the happenings in London will affect the lives of anybody who works for CC outside of Britain:
Our offices in the US, Frankfurt, Dubai, Hong Kong, etc, etc, are unaffected by the change there.
Although there are some things that are adopted firm-wide (like a global desktop for IT purposes), compensation at CC is based on “local market” conditions. Comp for our NY associates, for example, is competitive with the other top firms in NYC vs. what the rest of CC is doing.
Different strokes for different folks.
I hope the chaps in London enjoy the new regime of soft competencies that will determine their bonus. Legal Week reports that CC will be replacing hours requirements with merit-based factors:
Factors under consideration will now include overall achievement, effort, business and technical skills, client satisfaction, teamwork and community work.
That’s right CC London associates: You get nowhere, unless the team wins.
CC re-examines associate bonuses [The Lawyer]
CC overhauls bonus system in move away from billable hours focus [Legal Week]
Clifford Chance Drops Billable-Hours Requirement for Associate Bonuses [ABA Journal]