DLA Piper’s red card system to punish ‘delinquent’ senior lawyers who fail to work seven-and-a-half-hours a day

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Partners could have their monthly drawings reduced


Senior lawyers at global giant DLA Piper could now be punished for failing to clock up at least seven-and-a-half-hours of work each day, thanks to changes to the firm’s “red card” system.

Coming over all Mark Clattenburg, DLA will now issue cards to partners who fail to complete their timesheets proving they have hit their seven-and-a-half-hour a day quota, Monday to Friday.

According to a report on legal news site The Lawyer this afternoon, red cards could result in senior lawyers having “their quarterly profit drawings withheld”. The move — which could see a few afternoon tee-off times being cancelled — appears to hit partners where it hurts. Their pockets.

Furthermore, partners that repeatedly engage in (what the firm bizarrely describes as) “delinquent behaviour” could see their monthly drawings reduced.

The system, which was first introduced by DLA back in 2010, underwent a number of changes earlier this year. Designed to “improve productivity”, DLA will now track how partners spend their time and, more importantly, which ones are happy to pocket the profit without putting the hours in.

Speaking to The Lawyer, DLA chief operating officer Andrew Darwin explained partners who miss their targets on a “consistent basis” will be subject to “sanctions in terms of their drawings and distributions”. Continuing he said:

Recently we extended that to cover delinquent time recording but you have to be pretty delinquent to fall foul of that. It’s not about forcing people to record a minimum number of chargeable hours. Our time record protocol requires people to account for all of their time whether it’s chargeable or non-chargeable.

So watch out “delinquent” partners of DLA. Big Brother is watching.


Adam Deen

I don’t even know why i got into Oxford if the MC is this level of Kardashian – E! entertainment bullshit.

I need to stop going for an MC TC but i don’t know what to do with my life.

Lord Harley, Peace be upon him, please save me.






DLA isn’t MC you pillock.



“an MC” and you go to Oxford… that’s just basic!



You, mate, are an absolute idiot if you think that DLA is a Magic Circle firm. You might as well just give up on law because your general knowledge on it seems to be horrendous.


Apfel Crumble

HAHA this is hilarious. It is said that Slaughters is becoming “hardly” MC these days, but PLA DIPER – MC firm! HAHA.

PLA DIPER is basically a more global Eversheds. A generalist factory (perhaps a higher end one than some, but still).

And it looks like they have naughty partners too who don’t do things like bill for work. (Erm… Cobbetts had this problem too).



Don’t mock the mighty Diper. They got mo’ offices than Burger King & Kentucky Fried combined. Try and top that!



You are on the same level of idiocy as he is sorry to say. It is DLA Piper, not PLA Diper. Don’t try and outsmart someone when you yourself cant even get the name right.



You’re and idiot. It is clearly word play.

Bloated Simmons equity partner

You joka, DLA ain’t MC but Simmonz are. Stfu wasteman



This is pretty embarrassing behaviour by DLA. I’ve never worked less than 7.5 hours in the 4 months at my current job and often do 55 billable hours a week. If I then got pulled up for leaving the office a bit early for a personal appointment one day I’d rage. You can’t slam people and also deny them flexibility when they need it.



It’s a pit like PLA, what did you expect.

Next thing they’re gonna do is introduce the legendary and oh-so-celebrated Irwin Mitchell policy of ‘no mobile phones you flogs’. That one went down real well as far as I recall.



Wow! 4 MONTHS!!!



“Coming over all Mark Clattenburg”

So rude, LC.






It doesn’t say it must be 7.5 hours of billable, so all partners should be able to do this without any effort.

“Oh shit, only at 4 hours today…. let’s just put down 3 hours of BD or supervision to hit my 7.5”



If a partner adds 4 hours to 3 hours and thinks the answer is 7.5 there is a bigger problem…



I don’t think the geezer was being precise or even caring; he was making a “time dumping” point which will be rifer than normal with this new disciplinary action in effect.



Sorry, Slaughters “hardly magic circle” these days? Seriously?



It’s definitely behind FF and LL.



It would probably help your case if you could even *hint* at the metric you’re using for that



Let’s remember Slaughters still has the most FTSE100 and FTSE250 clients of any firm, and (allegedly) the highest profits of any London firm.



I wonder why the PEP is high? Perhaps because the equity partners take too much of the pie….

How about a nice salary increase for NQs? It’s bordering silver circle salaries, and will not change as it knows people will still flock to train there. Shocking.

I do agree, it is certainly hardly what one would expect of MC right now.


The penalty should be akin to the gimp in Pulp Fiction


Smell the Glove

I wonder what non-chargeable time codes Andrew Darwin used when accounting for his time when speaking to the Lawyer.



Do you guys not get this is standard practice?

How do you think these firms can afford shiny offices & pay?


DLA Piper fan boy

Everyone commenting on this thread probs went to London Met and graduated with borderline 2.1s. Talking like you even know what DLA Piper is all about.


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