Pay can be an emotive topic. It may be a powerful indicator of power, status and overall standing. Work in return for pay is also the basis for all work relationships. This book focuses on the issues which arise in relation to partner remuneration in the demanding environment of law firms today.
The editors have brought together in one volume the views of 16 authors (including themselves) on this topic. These viewpoints are divided into four parts. The first part considers partner remuneration in the context of strategy implementation, organisational design, governance and culture. The second part focuses on the main types of partner reward structures in principle, including the growing global trend towards hybrid systems, those in smaller firms and in the region of Latin America. The third part examines various aspects of the application of these structures, such as motivation, the role of the remuneration committee and the impact of internationalisation. The fourth part deals with various special issues in partner remuneration – salaried and fixed-share partners, lateral partner hires, law firm founders and the concept of goodwill. The final part provides some thoughts on the way ahead for partner remuneration systems in the 21st century.
Authors: Michael Roch, Polina Pavlova on behalf of the International Bar Association
£130, Globe Law and Business
While the book is aimed at managing partners, practice leaders or anyone in a leadership role in a law firm, they should not expect to be given a definitive answer on how to deal with partner remuneration. The authors make clear that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer. There are as many remuneration systems as firms; each firm will have its own issues – and there is no ‘right’ structure. So, the reader should treat the book more as a tool for reflection than as a management manual.
The disadvantage of editing so many contributions is that inevitably there is repetition, such as when systems are being described. Also there are some areas relating to remuneration which are noticeably absent – such as the role of gender and the changing attitudes to rewarding new generations of partners, though the circumstances of ageing and retiring partners are considered.
Overall, the book usefully brings together expert views on a subject which is a continuing preoccupation for law firm leaders around the world. For this reason, it is worth a place on their bookshelves.
Dame Janet Gaymer is former senior partner of Simmons & Simmons and now has various non-executive and advisory roles in the public and private sectors