Shardul Shroff
Shardul Shroff
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Breaking: No cut in fixed monthly retainer for SAM lawyers, variable compensation to depend on Firm performance

Pallavi Saluja

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas has become the third law firm to announce variations in the salaries of its lawyers, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As we navigate these challenging times, our focus remains on the well-being of our people, securing the business of the firm, strong financial management, and providing as much certainty as we can to our stakeholders."

SAM & Co Management

Shardul Amarchand has decided against making any changes to the fixed monthly retainers of its lawyers, across the board. The fixed salaries would be the same as last year.

The variable compensation will be linked to the firm's performance and will be paid out in equal tranches, in March 2021 and first half of FY 2021- 2022.

Also, the balance of the past Financial Year's variable compensation shall be paid out by the Firm, as always.

Any adverse impact on the firm's performance will be largely borne and absorbed by Equity Partnership of the firm.

The firm went on to state that these measures will be evaluated at the end of the year.

"Although we are aware of the tough and unprecedented time the firm, the country and the world are going through, we have borne the interests of all in mind as we brace ourselves for a challenging time ahead, with prudence and vigilance. We are confident that we will emerge from these times as a stronger and more evolved firm."

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas was the first to make such an announcement, with its Equity Partners voluntarily deciding against drawing salaries for this year.

For certain categories of lawyers, CAM has tweaked the ratio of fixed to variable compensation, moving some amount of fixed compensation to variable. The firm announced that there will be no change in the compensation structure for lawyers with an annual package of Rs. 25 lakh and below.

The Equity Partners and Executive Directors of Khaitan & Co have also agreed to take a 20% pay cut on their monthly compensation, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic fallout.

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