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A new model: Ince & Co brings in bonus pool at top of equity

Ince & Co is moving away from its traditional lockstep model and introducing a bonus pool above the top of its equity to reward its highest billers.

As of 1 May this year, the firm will use a ‘managed’ or ‘hybrid’ lockstep that comprises elements of the traditional lockstep model and a performance pool. Up to 30% of the firm’s gross revenues will be used to fund the extra band.

The firm’s lockstep has 14 points where the highest equity member takes home between £600,000 and £700,000 in base pay, while a junior equity member pockets between £100,000 and £140,000.

The move will increase the firm’s average profits per equity partner, which currently stands at £275,000, which was up 13% in the 2014/15 financial year.

It is expected to encourage a more entrepreneurial culture in a partnership that has historically struggled to keep pace with the changing maritime and insurance legal sector. It is aimed at attracting talent from other firms as Ince & Co works towards building its transactional offering which covers corporate, finance and projects.

The bonus is not capped and each partner can increase individual earnings through the bonus pool depending on performance and overall contribution.

As part of the new structure, the firm created a remuneration committee which includes five partners including senior partner Jan Heuvels (pictured).

The news comes as the firm emerges from falling revenues and profits in recent years. While mid-tier firms continue to generate solid growth, those focused on insurance are still feeling the heat from challenges in the sector. Ince & Co last year posted a drop in revenues for the second year running down by 8% to £79.4m in 2014/15 from the £86.7m the previous financial year. The firm’s UK revenue for 2014/15 came in at £47.5m, dropping 9% from £52.2m.