Reed Smith Changes Promotion System


Posted on November 6, 2009 at 1:11 AM

Reed Smith has announced its change from a traditional lockstep promotion system to a new merit-based promotion system. The program called CareeRS will rank employees by competency level instead of year. CareeRS is being rolled out in the US, Europe, and Middle East, but its Asia offices will have to wait for the next phase of the roll out for it to be implemented.

Michael Pollack, partner and global head of strategy at Reed Smith, comments: “We don’t really have a date targeted yet [for Asia]. I think we need to do some work here adapting [CareeRS] to this market. The program was developed based on a series of competencies – in different areas at different levels. That’s really been done in conjunction with partners in the US and the UK. So we need to run through that same process here… we need to be sensitive to differences in the market.”

The firm is promoting the program as an instrument to adequately reward performing associates, while also providing a support and training system for those who are lagging in their performance.

Pollack said: “In reality, for us higher pay would mean more competent associates which, at the end of the day, is what we are trying to develop. We’re not trying to drive a result on the compensation side, we’re really trying to drive a result on the competency side and if we’re able to do that we will pay people what they’re worth and for us that would make it a successful program.”

He also stated that CareeRS was not implemented due to the global financial crisis.

Morrison & Foerster Not Cutting Starting Salaries in Asia and New York Offices

First-year associates in Morrison & Foerster’s Asia and New York offices will not have their starting salaries reduced to US$145,000 as is being implemented in other offices, and will receive the full US$160,000.

The firm’s official statement was “Starting salaries at Morrison & Foerster in New York and Asia will be US$160,000, the same as last year, and starting salaries in other US offices will be US$145,000. Note, however, that the market for first year salaries among [US] firms is undetermined at this time. Given that, we will continue to assess starting salaries, in light of market trends, and may elect to adjust as required based on larger market developments.”

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