Asked and Answered
By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC
Q. I am the owner of an eight-attorney insurance defense law firm in the greater Chicago area. All of the other attorneys in the firm are associates. They are currently paid a salary plus a bonus for billable hours that exceed certain thresholds. I am in the process of establishing a non-equity partner tier and for this tier I want to set up a different compensation system with the focus on collected revenues rather than billable hours. I will continue to pay non-equity partners a salary with a bonus for collected working attorney fees. I will also pay responsible attorney fees for other timekeepers' work over the target threshold. I have given some thought to client origination of business, but since we have a small universe of insurance company clients, I'm not sure how this would play out. I would appreciate your thoughts.