Today, staff at a leading South West law firm are celebrating the news of a bumper bonus this year.
Stephens Scown LLP, which has offices in Exeter, St Austell and Truro, informed its staff that this year’s bonus will be £3,000 – more than double the amount last year when the average payout was £1,300.
The bonus applies to everyone, regardless of grade, from secretarial and admin staff up to fee-earning lawyers. The 130% increase is partly the result of a highly successful financial year for 2015/16 in which revenue rose by 18% to £17.83 million. But it is also due to the introduction of a new ‘John Lewis’ style shared ownership model in which everyone has the opportunity to effectively own a portion of the firm and share equally in the bonus scheme.
The new ownership model generated headlines when it was announced in February, with Stephens Scown being the largest law firm in the country to adopt such an approach – and potentially leading the way for other professional services partnerships to follow suit.
Commenting on the bonus news, Robert Camp, managing partner at Stephens Scown, said: “I am delighted that we’re able to share our success with staff in this way. They deserve it! We have had a very strong year, growing the business through a constant focus on client service and hard work.
“Our new shared ownership model enables us to share the rewards equally right across the firm. We are one team, and now we have one staff bonus scheme to match. I believe it’s the right thing to do and also that it will motivate and inspire everyone in the firm to keep performing at the highest level so as to drive up the rewards in the future too. It’s a win-win for us all.”
Jessica Connery, receptionist and office assistant at Stephens Scown’s Exeter office commented: “OMG, no words to describe how ecstatically happy I am – beach holiday here I come! Everyone should be giving themselves a pat on the back, we’ve all worked hard for it. Makes me love working at Stephens Scown that teeny bit more!”
Also, at the firm’s Exeter office, secretary Simone Austin said: “I walked into the office this morning to a sea of happy faces, all dying to see my reaction when I opened the golden envelope on my desk. I guessed it was good, but didn’t quite expect what I saw! In fact, I was so excited I leapt up and hugged everyone in the room!”
Sophie Petrucci, paralegal in Stephens Scown’s Truro office said: “Coming into work this morning to find out how much we had got was exciting. It was a nice feeling to be able to chat with everyone about the amount that we got and to be able to tell my family how much we had got too. My money is going towards my first house deposit and so my dad was very pleased I didn’t need to borrow more money from him!”
Sam Paley, marketing manager in the firm’s Truro office said: “The bonus this year is fantastic! That everyone in the firm gets the same amount, regardless of role, department or position, is really reflective of the value the firm places in every person and how we see ourselves as a team and ‘in it together’.”