International firm Pinsent Masons is to offer a bonus of up to £10,000 to reward lawyers who deliver ‘excellent’ client service.
The pilot bonus scheme will apply in the UK throughout the financial year 2015/16 and will double last year’s bonus pot.
The new incentive aims to move beyond rewarding employees based on the number of hours they work by recognising factors such as client engagement and innovation.
The firm said that the scheme is a continuation of its strategy in 2014 to place a greater emphasis on finding new ways to enhance client relationships and deliver legal services.
This included a 'project management methodology toolkit', which is being applied in major disputes and transactions and Vario, a flexible legal resource hub.
Jonathan Bond, director of HR and learning at Pinsents, said the scheme will still reward lawyers for putting in hard work, but will also push them to think more about what kind of service they are delivering to clients.
‘We’ve increasingly found ourselves in a position where clients have been demanding greater cost certainty on one hand, while on the other our principal means of measuring lawyer performance has been looking at metrics like utilisation,' he said.
'Under the new scheme our lawyers will still be rewarded for putting in the hard yards, of course. However we are simultaneously encouraging them to think holistically about the client relationship and how they can help the client achieve its objectives.’
Richard Foley, a senior partner at Pinsent Masons, said the scheme is about ‘fundamentally re-examining’ what legal solutions the firm provides and how.
‘Our most successful innovations to date have not come from sending people into a darkened room to create products, but by creating a culture in which our lawyers are encouraged to really understand the client and develop propositions accordingly,’ he said.