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"But sir, what is to become of Tiny Tim?"


BCLP is an early contender for this season's Scrooge award after cancelling business services pay rises just before Christmas.

An insider told RollOnFriday that BCLP had scrapped all business services pay rises (which had been expected at the end of December) in favour of a "discretionary 4% bonus split into two tranches, with award subject to performance". The source added that the "existing bonus structure has been scrapped". 

RollOnFriday was told that the firm's approach to halting the pay rise this year for business services staff has "not been replicated across the legal function". The firm boasted revenue in the last financial year of USD878.4 million, an increase of 2.1%.

When approached by RollOnFriday, BCLP did not deny the basic complaint that business services staff had their pay rises scrapped before Christmas.

However, it did refer to a better overall package for next year, imparting plans for future raises to RollOnFriday: “This signals a move to further globalize and invest in our business professionals, increasing total available compensation in 2023 and rewarding high performance", said a spokesperson.

The firm said it will increase the business services compensation package by 5%, and that it had raised base salaries for staff who make £45K or less.

There has also been a Christmas miracle, as two days after being contacted by RollOnFriday the firm revealed it had found more money down the back of the sofa: “BCLP will be making a one-time cost of living payment of £1500 ($1750 USD payment / or local currency equivalent) to business services individuals earning at or below £60K or $65K USD (FTE annually), which will be paid in January 2023", said the spokesperson. Hark the HR Angel sings! (It was ROF wot won it.)

Whether your firm is adopting a Dickensian approach or spreading cheer this Christmas, do get in touch, and have your say in the survey below. 

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Comments

Anonymous 09 December 22 09:03

>a move to further globalize and invest in our business professionals

This is an awkward way of saying they will offshore the business services.

Anonymous 09 December 22 09:16

Don’t take us for fools ‘Rewarding high performance with a max of 4%’. High performers used to be eligible for considerably more than that. Now the MOST I can get is 4%. Split across the year. If I’m lucky. Another nail in the coffin of a once great firm and more crappy US decision-making.
 

Let’s cut to the chase - it’s a cost-cutting exercise. Make the place awful to work in and people leave.  Saves on the cost of redundancies. Jump as soon as you can everyone. I will be. 

Anonymous 09 December 22 09:30

For a firm that performs well, this is terrible behaviour! Denying their employees salary increases based on performance so late in the year, and ignoring cost of living adjustments...Do they want to lose their employees?

Anonymous 09 December 22 09:40

"The firm said it will increase the business services compensation package by 5%, and that it had raised base salaries for staff who make £45K or less".

To clarify, those on £45K or less are getting a blanket 2% increase...

Disgruntled Associate 09 December 22 10:09

Its a callous cost cutting exercise.

The business services team (and fee earners) used to be valued at BLP but the takeover by BC has changed all of that. Lots of Bus Ser people have left as have many, many associates. The number of partners who have left (and leaving) is, according to a well-connected recruiter, the highest in the City over the last 2 years. Those that are still there are the ones who can’t move; deadbeats with no clients.

It used to be a good firm now its just appalling. I trained at BLP and left about a year post-takeover. Sad to have to leave but also glad to be out of it.

 

BCLP bus dev 09 December 22 10:55

The supposed "Cost of living payment" instead of a substantial pay rise is an attempt by the firm to spin this.

A one-off payment is not a sustainable way to deal with the cost of living crisis! A pay rise is the way to deal with rising inflation and bills.

Anonymous 09 December 22 11:13

@BCLP bus dev - Exactly this. A one time 'cost of living payment' is a misnomer if it is used as a substitute for a sustainable pay rise.

Anon 09 December 22 11:30

As someone who left BCLP after getting fed up of the post-merger purgatory it feels like it’s every week that you see a LinkedIn update about a new job from one of the better partners, one of the lifer associates that you know was destined for partnership, or from one of the  friendly business services people that helped make the firm what is used to be. The Companies House filings for partner resignations since the pandemic, and the quality of firms those individuals have gone to, just says so much.

Insider reading the writing on the wall 09 December 22 12:22

This article and the comments paint a sorry picture. It’s the culture of the firm and the leadership that’s behind this. The pay side of things is just a small, yet indicative, part of how bad things have got. 

Ex BCLP 09 December 22 12:45

I consider myself to have been lucky to have left. Never realised how much of strain BCLP had been on both my physical and mental health.

Lions led by donkeys

Anon 09 December 22 12:59

To those at BCLP and who have left , would you advise anyone to join if they had a job offer ? 

Anonymous 09 December 22 13:56

@Anon: 12:59

If you have an offer I would think long and hard. I have no doubt the picture that’s been painted for you is nothing like the reality. What you see here is just the tip of the iceberg. Right now, I would not advise anyone to join. Partner, Attorney or Business Services.

 

 

Seen it all before 09 December 22 14:18

The firm is blatantly attempting to obscure a naked attempt to impose a pay freeze on business services staff in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, though management has severely underestimated how badly this would down internally. That classy mix of ruthlessness and incompetence that has become a BCLP hallmark in recent years. Meanwhile, the better lawyers have been heading for the exits for months and their equivalents in biz services are about to follow. Most definitely a sell-stock.

Ex BCLP 09 December 22 14:36

Moved to a MC firm earlier in the year and I’m astounded by the career opportunities and perks my firm is able to offer. I don’t think back office deserves the same pay/bonus as fee earners (as we work much longer hours) but what BCLP has done is atrocious and should be reprimanded. 

In response to the above 09 December 22 15:08

@Ex BCLP 09 December 22 14:36

Ignoring your lack of knowledge of the hours worked by business services or "back office", your view on the hours people work is quite invalid here. Everyone at BCLP is affected by the cost of living regardless of if their job role. Everyone expected a salary increase based on their performance this year. Business services were the only ones to have this taken away from them.

Reality cheque 09 December 22 15:21

Fee earner earns, business services burns. If you don’t preserve the bottom line for fee earners the firm shall crumble. 

Anonymous 09 December 22 16:24

Another email has just gone round and to clarify they have said the cost of living bonus has now been pro-rated for part-time business services.  A complete and utter shambles!

Current BCLP'er 09 December 22 16:53

Reading some of the negative comments on this thread makes me feel sorry for some people. I currently work in the Business Services team at BCLP and I can tell you that not everyone feels disappointed by the announcement. Sure, being told we aren't receiving a salary review after what has been (and continues to be) a challenging year is not great but the longer term picture is positive. Every employee within Business Services will receive a bonus from 2023 onwards, something we didn't have previously. So yes, the first year will be painful but from 2024 onwards, we will have a salary review and performance related bonus every year. Not all companies offer this. 

Anonymous 09 December 22 18:48

@Current BCLP’er

Hahaha.There it is.The official response trying to justify the act.Take a sounding of the offices (globally) and then perhaps you’ll delete this post (of course you won’t). Shows how much you despise Biz Servs. 

Ex BCLP 09 December 22 19:19

@current BCLP-er - well I’m sure it will indeed get better in 2024….because they’ll have made half their employees so unhappy that they leave…hey presto, budget for (probably minimal) bonuses. 

and no I wouldn’t recommend anyone join this firm right now. It is a miserable ship, captained by ruthless and completely inadequate leadership. And this is coming from someone who used to think the world of BLP and so proud to work there. Tbh it’s just sad. 

In respone to "Current BCLP'er 09 December 22 16:53" 09 December 22 19:26

Regardless of what it means for the future, did we not deserve to finalise this year under the previous performance based salary review plans?

BCLP should have;

a) let this year ended under the normal circumstances, acknowledging everyone's hard work they did under the assumption their end of year salary review would be based on performance

b) told everyone sooner, so they could have worked their normal hours and within the parameters of their job rather than working extra hours, wasting time hitting objectives that didn't get any recognition and generally going above and beyond with what ended up being no incentive. This would have left everyone feeling less disrespected and manipulated.

Anonymous 09 December 22 23:05

@current BCLP'er shows how desperate your position is when you have to come on this forum to defend your position. Word on the the street is that your London partners are completely embarrassed by your approach. Perhaps you should speak to your partners before coming on this forum.

 

Anonymous 10 December 22 00:17

@current BCLP'er we all realise you are only following orders. We all expect a response once you have received permission to do so.

Anon BCLP’er 10 December 22 01:57

This is not the firm I joined. The firm I joined valued team relationships. It valued business services. This new firm post-merger values nothing other than the lawyers, targets and profit. More digging needs to be done. Are we allowed to socialise? What’s management like? Do our “team hall” meetings ever reference anything other than the lawyers and their achievements? What extra hours are we working to accommodate the US offices (as well as covering the rest of EMEA)? It’s all equating to a loss in personal value, even aside from this terribly forecasted decision. I’m 9.5% down on real-terms pay compared to this time last year. What inventive have I been given to stay?

Claygate Clown 10 December 22 17:44

This is not news.   BCLP is a top tier law firm with fantastic staff and clients which makes many City law firms envious.

Ghost of Christmas BCLP 10 December 22 17:55

They should also really give some thought to culling those crusty partners with annual billable hours sub-300 and make room for those associates and SAs with appetites to grow a practice rather than dining out on past glories of 15 years ago. That would improve revenue and profitability.

BLP Lifer 11 December 22 09:05

The management of BLP involved in the merger (ahem, I mean takeover by) with BC need to take a long, hard look at themselves and accept that they were properly suckered by BC.

Business Services Leper 12 December 22 11:24

Not so long ago the leadership team were begging for everyone's help with uncertain times caused by Covid, asking for employees to take a paycut to help the firm.

The majority of employees, Legal and  Business Services, stepped up and took a 15% cut, and then a further 10% cut, doing what we could to help BCLP survive. Although it was eventually paid back when the firm performed better than expected, people didn't know that would be the outcome, but still did what they could.

Fast forward to when employees need BCLP and that goodwill is forgotten and we are disregarded to save costs.

Shocking decision by the Leadership team. Hope you enjoy your Christmas from your ivory towers!

 

Another ex bclp 13 December 22 17:41

Another ex bclp employee here. Sad to see a once great firm go down the drain - it was truly an amazing place to work when it was blp. The merger, key partners leaving has made it a wanna-be American firm. I’m also still sore about the pressure to take the pay cut and all the cost cutting measures that was meant to avoid (but didn’t actually avoid). 

BC-er USA 16 December 22 01:02

The point is, that days before we should have received 2022's Holiday bonus we were told we'd receive something in January instead.  Most Business Staff use this pay (which has been received without fail for 35+ years in December) for holiday gifts.  In the St. Louis office  this Saturday, 300+ attorneys will be wined and dined at the Ritz Carlton.  And that my friends is salt poured in an open wound.  (It was made clear that Collections were an issue.  REALLY?  Still having that expensive party???!)

also interesting that in the UK they blame BC and the merger..in the US we blame Leighton Paisner. Regardless...they've determined Bus. Staff are unimportant.

We don't care so much about the new pay structure..we care about the fact that some idiot in management took our CHRISTMAS BONUS.  And the Partners didn't have a clue....stingy, unfeeling, hard hearted...not Scrooge...BCLP management.

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