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This article, like many others, was first published exclusively for long-term supporters, 12 hours before everyone else got to read it.

L&L corp pays out (higher) bonuses with slight Covidelay, pushes fresher joining dates till 2021 [CORRECTION]

Unlike Covid, bonuses are generally not hazardous to health and on time at Luthras
Unlike Covid, bonuses are generally not hazardous to health and on time at Luthras

L&L Partners corporate transactional advisory partnership has paid out bonuses to fee-earners just a little behind schedule last week, though it notified its 44 fresh campus recruits that they would not be able to join the firm before 2021 as opposed to around this month (though a few of these have since joined - see update below).

The firm said in a statement confirmed that the joining date had been postponed to 2021: “Our offices have been closed since 16th March and we are unlikely to open [until the] Covid situation improves in India. In that situation it does not make sense to risk new joinees to Covid.”

In addition, since many of the new joinees were not from Delhi and Mumbai, starting work early would force them to look for a place to live in the cities during the pandemic, which would add additional hardship, according to the statement.

Update 22:37: We understand that the timetable may have been accelerated slightly. Two freshers have since joined L&L (remotely), another two are set to join in September, with another three freshers now scheduled to join in the first week of October. More may join before January, providing teams are able to adapt to onboarding and training the new recruits remotely, a firm source shared.

While not explicitly mentioned, the move will also no doubt save the firm some cash, and follows in the footsteps of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM), which twice postponed fresher start dates to now also be no earlier than January.

Unlike CAM, which told freshers about the postponements in emails, we understand that someone from L&L personally called each future joinee on the phone to tell them about the deferral last month.

Bonus on time

By contrast, bonus payments to L&L fee-earners have not been indefinitely postponed unlike at many other major firms.

Correction 9 September 2020: The initially published story stated that bonuses were paid on time, however, they are normally paid in July. The error is ours and regretted. L&L said in a statement: “July bonus is always paid on completion of 1-1 review of every associate and every partner. This year on account of lock down, review was delayed and was completed only in August, and immediately thereafter bonus was paid out.”

Partners and managing associates at L&L are paid bonuses four times a year, while other associates get paid bonuses twice per year.

It is understood that the amount of bonuses for each fee-earner are fixed at the start of the year at L&L, depending on performance calculated by a formula.

Those bonuses were paid out in full as calculated at the beginning of the financial year, on 1 April 2020.

The bonus component calculation also includes a 360 degree evaluation of teams and the fee-earner (in June and July of each year). So-called 360 degree evaluations usually consist of taking anonymous feedback of everyone that someone has worked with, including those above and below them in the food chain (of command).

Update 9 September 2020: The firm said in a statement that this year the average bonus percentage was much higher than in the last two years.

L&L corporate’s decision to pay out bonuses on schedule, as well as being one of the few firms not to have announced salary cuts or deferrals), is also in contrast to L&L’s own separate litigation partnership, which had retroactively imposed four months' of salary cuts-cum-deferrals by 15-35% in July.

Photo by Antonio Kless.

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