Legal Business Blogs

Camerons to raise top of equity to keep Nabarro heavyweights

CMS Cameron McKenna is to stretch its top of equity to accommodate the highest-earning Nabarro partners, as the firms prepare for their tripartite merger with Olswang on 1 May.

Top-earning Nabarro partners are not expected to see a reduction in drawings following the merger with Camerons and Olswang, despite the firm’s top of equity coming in higher than that of its two merger partners.

A top band of around six partners at Nabarro can earn in the region of £950,000. The firm’s highest-earning partner took home £966,000 for the financial year ending April 2015 and £944,000 in 2016. This compares to Camerons’ top of equity, which was £788,000 in 2015 and £860,000 in 2016, while Olswang’s top of equity is £740,000.

Camerons has some flexibility in its pay system, with a pot of up to 5% set aside for discretionary bonuses of equity share.

As part of the merger, partners at Olswang and Nabarro will slot into Camerons’ model. Camerons’ system has four bands, with the bottom band a tier of salaried, or ‘gateway’ partners and the top three tiers running from 28 to 70 points. The firms have indicated that transferring partners will not see a pay cut.

Camerons managing partner Stephen Millar told Legal Business. ‘We are looking at keeping the status quo in the new model with some tweaking around the edges. The more you can keep everything as a continuation of what partners are used to the better. Partners are moving onto the Camerons model, but there are some transitional aspects.’

For more on the CMS/Nabarro/Olswang merger, see Sale of the century – Has Camerons picked up a bargain with Olswang and Nabarro?.