Barlow Lyde & Gilbert LLP (BLG) has introduced a new performance-based career framework for its associates.
Effective from 1 May 2011, the new framework signals a move away from the traditional PQE approach to a model that recognises 10 key competencies grouped into three clusters: intellectual rigour; commercial acumen; and organisational capability.
The new framework also introduces three levels of associate: associate; senior associate; and legal director. Lawyers have been assessed against the 10 competencies and placed into the new structure based on performance.
A fourth level – of counsel – has also been introduced for senior people with a high level of specialist technical expertise.
BLG Chief Executive Officer David Jabbari said: “We want to ensure that BLG offers rewarding and fulfilling careers for all of our staff, and that we are continuing to develop the high calibre of lawyer that our clients have come to expect.
“We also recognise the importance of creating a clear and structured career path for our associates, and making sure they are properly rewarded for their performance. Our new framework does all of this.”
Partners from across the UK were consulted on the project, which has been in development since 2009. Associates were also consulted through focus groups. BLG retained leading global management consultancy firm Hay Group to help develop and refine the new framework.
John Howarth from Hay Group said: “There is an increasing trend amongst law firms to move away from the traditional PQE approach for managing, developing and rewarding associates to a competency-based approach. The initiative at BLG is an excellent example of this. In our experience this move provides a more effective way for firms to drive performance and recruit, retain and motivate talented staff."