DLA Piper debates partner update as PwC unveils initial report
PwC report to provide basis for debate on partnership overhaul
DLA Piper is gearing up to consult with partners over broad-ranging proposals to overhaul its partnership and remuneration structure.
The firm is set to go to partners over the coming weeks after professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) presented a framework to DLA Piper's board last month covering its findings on areas including partner roles, performance objectives and remuneration structures.
PwC's framework is intended to help create more transparency among partners, with the research carried out as DLA Piper's management has simultaneously been assessing the shape of the partnership. Options being considered by management include moving towards a single tier of equity partners, rather than its current model, which consists of equity partners and two bands of fixed-share partners.
DLA Piper is expected to start roadshowing the proposals to partners across its offices before the end of March, with the process of gathering opinion and feedback expected to last until October.
Any changes are thought likely to come into effect from 1 January 2011.
As previously reported by Legal Week, PwC was engaged in November to help DLA Piper with the review, which will affect partners in the firm's UK and international business.
DLA Piper set up a small working party a year ago in order to look at modernising its partnership as well as aligning career management and remuneration.
The review is the first time DLA Piper has looked at its partnership structure since the creation of the legacy UK national practice Dibb Lupton Alsop in the mid-1990s.
Commenting on the process last year, DLA Piper joint chief executive Nigel Knowles told Legal Week: "This is all about alignment and transparency."
DLA Piper's US partnership is not directly affected by the review, although it is currently assessing its own model. The US practice in January 2009 announced that it was asking its 275 salaried partners to contribute capital to the business for the first time in return for a direct stake in the firm's profits.