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  • Getting Compensation to Drive Revenue: The Effect of Law Firm Compensation Systems on the Business Development Effort of Partners

Getting Compensation to Drive Revenue: The Effect of Law Firm Compensation Systems on the Business Development Effort of Partners

  • November 13, 2013
  • 11:30 AM - 1:15 PM
  • Knobbe Martens, 2040 Main Street, First Floor, Irvine, CA 92614

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LMA Southern California Presents:


Law firm management often claims they are committed to business development but firm compensation models rarely reflect that commitment. Misaligned compensation structures often promote referring work outside the firm, hoarding and even disloyalty. In today’s highly competitive legal marketplace, most law firms want to create compensation incentives that drive revenue. This session will explore ways to encourage business development while also rewarding the lawyers responsible for delivery of legal services and satisfying the client.


We will cover the various partner compensation approaches at law firms today and the relationship between partner compensation and business development efforts by partners.  Topics will include:

  • What incentives for business development are most effective
  • How can partners more effectively cross-sell the services of partners with different expertise?
  • How can the partner managing the case and applying expertise be adequately rewarded for the value he adds?
  • The role of price in today’s competition for clients.
  • How to encourage younger lawyers to be entrepreneurial and form relationships with clients.
  • How can a law firm retain an effective business-generating partner in the face of attractive lateral offers from other firms?

Our speaker, Jay Westcott, was Assistant Managing Partner of Hale and Dorr for over 20 years and, after Hale and Dorr’s merger with Wilmer Cutler Pickering in 2004, the combined firm WilmerHale until 2012.  He was centrally involved in setting annual partner compensation at both firms.  He currently advises firms, legal departments, and lawyers on a broad range of legal organizational and management issues, including strategy, governance, practice management, personnel and career management, financial discipline, profitability, compensation theory and systems, retirement plans and policies, and administrative support.

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