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BCLP offers lawyers ‘time-off bonuses’

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New policy aims to encourage outside interests and family time; also sets aside hours for diversity and innovation

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has introduced a new “time-off bonus” scheme to help its lawyers switch-off whilst on holiday.

The new initiative sees associates who hit certain bonus targets become eligible to receive billable hours credit for a week’s holiday during the financial year. The firm hopes this will encourage lawyers to explore outside interests and spend valuable time with family and friends, whilst also ensuring they feel comfortable taking time off in the first place.

In addition to the billable hours credit, BCLP will also throw in “cash vacation bonuses” for those associates who hit the firm’s “highest bonus eligibility target”.

Co-chairs of the firm Lisa Mayhew and Steve Baumer said they “are very proud of our new global investment hours policy, which is focused on recognising and rewarding the wide range of valuable contributions made by our lawyers to BCLP’s culture and community”.

They added that the scheme had been “carefully designed to support the mental and physical health of those working at the firm, which sits directly in line with our firm values”.

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As well as the fresh approach to annual leave, lawyers will also be able to allocate up to 5% of their billing on non-client matters. BCLP says the work, which still contributes towards associates’ bonus eligibility, can cover areas including learning, diversity, wellbeing, knowledge and innovation.

“At BCLP we are looking to encourage a more holistic view of success and are pleased to be getting this broad policy in place firmwide,” added Lloyd Stephenson, the firm’s global director of inclusion and diversity and recruitment. We see this as a great opportunity to ensure that our lawyers are taking the necessary breaks in order to protect their mental health while also contributing to the culture and long-term success of the firm behaviour.”

This isn’t the first time a big City player has tweaked its approach to billable hours for the greater good. Linklaters and Hogan Lovells both launched similar initiatives with a focus on diversity and inclusion, while Reed Smith has done the same for work tied to environmental sustainability.

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12 Comments

Casual Observer

Seems unlikely to slow the mass exodus of senior lawyers looking to escape the catastrophic merger… I feel sorry for anyone who is baited into joining what is now a Real Estate cash-cow for the Americans!

Alan

The young these days just need to be told when to eat, sleep and breathe thanks to growing up with Blair as PM.

Vfff

What cushty practice areas to qualify in BCLP?

Anon

Post room?

Asking for a mate

Do they offer secondments to reception in that role?

old dawg

Graham $hear’s Presidents Club crew is pretty cushy

Curious - US associate

Has anyone worked opposite BCLP on transactional work before (think finance deals, corporate work, M&A, etc)? I work at a US firm and did a few deals opposite them recently.

I couldn’t believe how aggressive their associates and trainees were on absolutely pointless things (like board minutes and the like) – and we regularly come up against the likes of STB and K&E too who have proper sponsor clients where you sort of expect that. It is laughable as well, considering how irrelevant their client was on this occasion. The other members of my deal team said they have had similar experiences with them before (and I am told it isn’t just the one rotten team). It felt like they would be better off in their litigation team and not transactional work where we are, in essence, just doing the term sheet.

Just wanted to see if anyone else has experienced this?

Anon

No, never

Anon

Yes, but with their competition team.

Anon

Yes, but with their competition team.

Anonymous

So… while US firms are paying actual bonuses (eg USD115k minimum for senior associates for hitting target hours), BCLP give a week off when we are ina recession and work is thin anyway…

Future trainee

Did they actually read this before they issued it?! So work ~2,000hrs a year (clearly not thinking about the associates MH and WLB) to receive a week off working the following year to then potentially be behind to not reach 2,000hrs again. Imagine being told to work 2,000+ to finally have a break… makes no sense!

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