The impact of performance reviews on the benefit of firms

"Summary of the session of December 14, 2022"

The last 14 of December FIDE held the session "The impact of performance reviews on firm profits" of the Legal Management Forum. As speakers, they intervened Cristina Meadows, HR Director at Allen & Overy and Sandra Romain, CEO & Founder of Henkô. moderated the session Javier Morelo, People Director at RSM Spain, Academic Advisor at FIDE and co-director of the Forum.

The objective of the session was to discuss and analyze the performance measurement and review systems that have been implemented in firms in the legal sector. Reference was made to the application of a new methodology in these reviews, and there are still many obstacles and transformations to be carried out, although the participants agreed in highlighting the progress achieved in the last decade.

First, there is a temptation to view performance measurement as more of an administrative or tactical process. The clear objective, however, is to that this review process be configured as an evaluation teacher of the performance by the partners of the firms, in order to to promote the personal and professional growth of each professional.

Secondly, the role of the Human Resources or Talent director of law firms was addressed, referring to the substantial change that this role has had, going from a reactive function to a much more proactive and value-added one. At this point, the feedbacks has Conformed as a tool that allows obtaining a reliable assessment of partners and workers, replacing the traditional work of Human Resources technicians.

Additionally, the review of performance in the legal sector must be based on, on the one hand, the most tangible elements (hours of work performed, billing, income, project profitability), as well as other non-tangible elements (team management, adaptation to the culture of the firm, etc.). Little by little these last points are being taken into account.

Finally, this impact on the economic benefit of the firms supposes a context of adaptation. In recent years, many firms have implemented more favorable structures for conducting the new performance review processes. The challenge is the regular measurement of the personal contribution of each lawyer in quantitative and qualitative terms.

This summary has been made for Fide by Jose Carlos Perez Arias, Lawyer, Managing Partner of SMARTLOU and Doctoral student in Law (UC3M).

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