Patton Boggs Adopts New Compensation System
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Scissors beats money.Washington, DC-based Patton Boggs is adopting a new compensation plan for partners, retooling a long-held “eat-what-you-kill” system to reward partner cooperation and business development.

Under the new structure, which will begin next year, partners will have a percentage of their pay set by an 11-member compensation committee. The committee will examine how well partners refer business to each other, and will also weigh involvement in associate mentoring and training, and whether partners soon to retire are transferring clients to the next generation of lawyers at the firm.

It is not a complete change. Nearly 85% of partners’ compensation will still be based on billables. But it does mark a major change for the firm, which says it wants to encourage partners across practices to cross-sell services to clients.


The changes will apply to the firm’s 119 equity partners; they will not affect the vast majority of the firm’s 111 non-equity partners. The firm has a total of 518 lawyers.

The firm has been working on a review of both the compensation system and firm objectives for roughly two years, and the internal process concluded with a partner vote in December to adopt the new system. More than 90 percent of equity partners voted for the change.

Patton Boggs is a full service law firm with more than 600 lawyers and professionals in nine locations in the United States and the Middle East.

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