Kennedys proceeds with increases and bonuses across offices despite COVID-19

The firm had initially delayed annual salary reviews for both lawyers and non-lawyer staff

Kennedys proceeds with increases and bonuses across offices despite COVID-19

Kennedys will be proceeding with increases and bonuses across its international offices despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The firm had initially delayed annual salary reviews from May and September (for non-lawyer staff and lawyers, respectively), but announced on Monday that the review process would push forward in November.

“The firm took the prudent decision to pause these reviews to allow the board to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the business,” Kennedys said. “However, the firm has now taken the decision to press ahead and reward staff for their work.”

The firm said that it was bucking the trend by focusing on job security for employees and confirming its commitment to providing staff bonuses.

“The firm has prioritised job security for all staff as a primary objective over the last six months. They are one of only a few firms not to announce any redundancies, reduce staff hours, cut pay or place any staff on the government’s furlough scheme during the pandemic,” Kennedys said.

The firm said that the increases are based on performance, and are applicable to “all eligible fee-earning and business services staff.”

Kennedys revealed in June that its turnover for the financial year 2019/2020 was £238m—9% higher compared to the last 12 months. This increase has been credited to the implementation of the firm’s growth strategy—earlier this year, Kennedys opened its first branch in California.

Senior partner Nick Thomas said that the firm’s strong performance over the financial year contributed to the decision to proceed with salary increases, but the initiative was also spurred by the firm having “an eye on further success.” 

“It gives me immense satisfaction and pride to lead a partnership which chooses to reward our staff during what is a challenging time for so many businesses. But the reality is that they’ve earned it and deserve it having demonstrated their ability to maintain productivity remotely, helped by our robust IT platforms,” Thomas said. “As a business we live and breathe by ‘doing the right thing’ for our people and our clients, and we will never lose sight of the fact that our success is down to our people.”

“The board have had people at the forefront of our agenda throughout the pandemic. And we’ve worked hard to maintain a strong sense of community and support through our culture and values,” managing partner Suzanne Liversidge said.

The firm has launched a number of international initiatives since the onset of the pandemic, including a wellness series for staff and a virtual work experience program for law students.

“We’re certainly not immune to the challenges of the pandemic, but we are a strong, well-run business and will proceed this year with a combination of cautious optimism and a focus on continued growth,” Thomas said.

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