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A unique reward strategy to differentiate Shoosmiths LLP

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The challenge

As a leading national law firm, Shoosmiths have a unique culture with collaboration at the heart.  This was a critical aspect of the Firm’s response to rocketing pay rates in the sector that were challenging affordability, value, and equity.

Verditer partnered with Shoosmiths to establish and implement a clear reward strategy, at a challenging time for the legal sector.

“We used Verditer to help us design and introduce a new reward strategy, including a bonus and pay benchmarking. The team were insightful, commercial and really ‘got us’.  They created a bespoke strategy that met our specific requirements and excellently guided our implementation.”

Our approach

We spent time getting to know the firm, their current approach to reward, and employee feedback before interviewing several partners and other key stakeholders.

From this we proposed a way forward for reward that was truly aligned to business goals and aspirations.  Our suggestions were then refined in consultation with the leadership team.

“Verditer listened carefully and played back a logical approach that we could understand and buy into”.

A critical decision for the firm was whether to introduce a bonus and, if so, what performance to reward.  Many law firms use billable hours.  But this didn’t fit well with the collaborative culture at Shoosmiths and the desire to reward the many different ways people can contribute to success.

The outcome

The bonus developed rewarded financial metrics alongside strategic goals relating to clients, people and communities.

“Verditer approached our bonus design well, engaging key stakeholders and skilfully bringing the leadership team to a consensus way forward”.

The metrics selected for the bonus have stimulated discussion, created habits and changed behaviours.  This has made the money spent work really hard for the firm.

Alongside the bonus design, we sourced additional pay benchmarking insight, and guided the creation of agile pay ranges.  This brought the flexibility to reflect other factors affecting pay outside of years of experience.

This all meant quite a change for the firm, and we helped craft the employee communications too.

“The team were generous with their time, progressive in approach, yet very down to earth.  Their style is collaborative, open and honest and we didn’t feel preached to. Their communications support was especially helpful.

This was a significant project for an impressive firm that was successfully achieved within seven months.

Since implementation, the firm moved from 30th to 18th place for pay satisfaction in the 2023 RollOnFriday Law Firm Survey. A strong placing relative to peer national law firms.

The project was shortlisted for numerous awards including People in Law, FT Innovative Lawyers Europe, and CIPD People Management Awards.

“We now have a unique reward proposition that aligns with our strategic goals. We are really pleased with where we have ended up and would highly recommend Verditer.”

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Tracy McMullen, Global Head of Reward

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“I’m delighted with the outcomes and feel that we now have competitive, transparent and fair reward, that we can explain to employees. We’ll continue our relationship with Verditer.”

Judy Keir, Chief People Officer

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