Morning Briefing: Have law firms got bonuses wrong?

by Steve Randall30 Oct 2015
Law firms have got bonuses all wrong says academic
A law professor says that the way law firms pay bonuses is flawed and sends the wrong messages. Stephen Gillers from the NYU School of Law says that rewarding lawyers who bill the most hours has a detrimental effect on work-life balance and does not reflect the quality of the work. Bloomberg reports that Gillers questions why an associate who bills 2,400 hours but whose work is “ordinary” should receive a larger bonus than one who bills 2,000 hours but works with creativity and enhances the firm’s value to clients. Gillers says that the current bonus structure is a “sin” in the legal profession.
Ince & Co adds 3 new Singapore partners
International law firm Ince & Co has announced three new partner appointments in its Singapore office including a new managing partner. The office will now be led by John Simpson who has been with the firm (and the office) since 2007 and was promoted to partner five years ago. The firm’s Asia Head of Admiralty will be joining the Singapore office; Harry Hirst will relocate from Hong Kong. Meanwhile Singaporean Devandran Karunakaran is promoted to partner after seven years with the firm including six in London.
Asia-Pac partners among promotions at Latham Watkins
Latham Watkins has announced its latest round of partner promotions with almost half of them women. As well as 25 associates being elected to the partnership there are 31 associates who will become counsel at the start of 2016. In Asia-Pac there are new partners in Hong Kong; corporate lawyers Ji-Hyun Helena Kim and Dominik Sklenar; while in Japan finance lawyer Richard Chul Kim makes partner.
Clyde & Co expands South African practice
Five new partners have been added to the South African practice of Clyde & Co. Tony Hardie, Amelia Costa, Robert Scott and Alon Meyerov join the firm's Johannesburg office and Athol Gordon joins the firm in Cape Town. There are also a number of associates joining the firm’s offices.