Nick Jarrett-Kerr Equity points for top performers


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Nick Jarrett-Kerr Equity points for top performers

  1. 1. comment nick Jarrett-kerr nick Jarrett-kerr, director, Jarrett-kerr consulting Equity points for top performers Traditionally law firms have not whole- 7. Sustain concepts of teamwork heartedly embraced systematic between partners with greater methodologies for the selection of their collective responsibility for the partners. In the past, decisions in many performance of practice areas; law firms were all too often made on 8. Encourage and reward the most emotional grounds, ranging from fear (“he/ capable partners to lead the firm she will leave unless we promote him/ and practice areas as effectively her”) through to implicit blackmail by a as possible; power partner insisting on promoting one 9. Reflect the values of the partnership of his or her team members. More recently, and cohesion of the firm; law firms formalised their processes 10. Value performance that contributes to and have developed promotion criteria, the sustained growth of the firm and a usually based on hard measurable data ‘one firm’ approach; for revenues, hours and originations. 11. Embrace a firm-wide approach Particularly at lateral hire level, this often to enable partners in different resulted in a seemingly irresistible business practice areas to be rewarded on a case based on performance, while soft consistent basis; features – including qualities such as 12. Discourage maverick behaviour; integrity, openness, drive, commitment, 13. Clarify the differing roles of partners as leadership, and the ability to inspire trust – working lawyers, producers, managers were often given scant regard. and owners; These difficulties are not confined to Your goal in hiring is to get the 14. Enable the firm to attract and retain right players on the field the world of legal services. As Former partners of the highest calibre and GE CEO Jack Welch, puts it, “Your goal introduce partners from other firms; in hiring is to get the right players on the 15. Be linked to internal training and field…It’s so easy to hire people like you. review processes which supports After all, you’ll be spending the majority partners’ development and of your waking hours with them…But objectives, which can then be improvement in performance; friendship and experience is never enough. drilled down into the critical areas 16. Recognise that partners have different Every person you hire has to have integrity, of performance’; qualities and should be encouraged intelligence and maturity.” 2. Ensure that remuneration levels to focus on areas where they have The problem is that these matters are match contributions to the strategic strengths while contributing in all areas; difficult to assess, although judgments can objectives of the firm, as well as the 17. Link with the firm’s career development be made about people who have worked maintenance of cultural values; structures for its professionals; with you for some time. 3. Recognise and reward long-term 18. Achieve clarity in the processes for growth towards strategic objectives reviewing/appraising partners and What equity should achieve – rather than just short-term results; setting objectives; 20 objectives 4. Encourage partners to support new 19. Define the requirements and It is clear that the promotion of partners ventures and develop new services in appropriate performance levels for to equity status is a vital element in the line with objectives; partners at each stage of progression firm’s equity structure. This structure must 5. Encourage, motivate, value and reward on the firm’s lockstep ladder or be linked to the firm’s overall strategy and high achievers that are critical to the partner career structure, both therefore must achieve the following: firm’s strategic success and who qualitatively and quantitatively; contribute to an exceptional level; 20. Identify the data and evidence 1. Identify the areas where the firm 6. Manage and develop performance that will be collected and used to must perform as a whole in order to in the broadest sense in all measure performance. achieve its strategic and economic performance areas; — 14 managing partner, may 2010