Managers and staff at national firm Simpson Millar are to be offered share options in its listed parent company.

Financial services business Fairpoint Group, which acquired the firm earlier this year in a deal valued at £15m, said this week it has approved a share scheme.

Options over ordinary shares of 1p in the group may be granted to senior management and employees of Simpson Millar.

A statement on the London Stock Exchange said 248,764 options have been granted, with an exercise price of 123.5p.

‘The Simpson Millar plans have been introduced as a means to retain and incentivise key management,’ the statement added.

Fairpoint agreed the summer acquisition for an immediate £9m in cash and shares plus a future payment of £6m.

The firm has 38 partners across 13 offices across England, having acquired Bristol firm Foster & Partners shortly after the Fairpoint takeover.

Share incentive schemes are still a relatively new feature of the legal profession, but are expected to be more common in future years as the number of alternative business structures grows.

Triton Global, a multi-disciplinary practice dedicated to defending professional negligence claims, implemented an employee-owned structure 12 months ago.

In July, listed Australian firm Slater & Gordon announced a share scheme resulting in around 1m shares being issued to staff members every year.

Robert Postlethwaite, founder of London firm Postlethwaite, which specialises in employee ownership, said more law firms will create similar schemes in the coming years as non-lawyers play increasingly central roles.

‘Lawyers don’t tend to be early adopters and have to be persuaded this is the right thing to do,’ he said. ‘Soon it will seem like the obvious thing to do and more firms will get used to the idea.’