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More or less business as usual at Trilegal: Pays out (tweaked) bonuses on time, promos 16 to counsel

Some will have still picked up 100%, but overall the take home bonus pay may have reduced slightly

No haircuts at Trilegal at this time...
No haircuts at Trilegal at this time...

Trilegal has internally announced associate promotions this week and paid out bonuses - possibly slightly reduced from normal levels - while the legal industry continues to reel under and figure out the full potential fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Trilegal has promoted the following 16 fee-earners to counsel, which is a rung in Trilegal’s career ladder before partner (and arguably similar to salaried partner at other firms):

  • Mohit Rohatgi
  • Riyaz Bhagat
  • Varuna Bhanrale
  • Shravani Shekhar
  • Rohan Ghosh
  • Sara Rashid Khan
  • Dhruv Chatterjee
  • Shraddha Krishnan Dash
  • Albin George Thomas
  • Aakriti Shakdher
  • Karishma Dodeja
  • Deep Choudhuri
  • Komal Dani
  • Ankita Chaudhary
  • Siddharth Dang
  • Kabeer Mathur

In addition, it has also announced its other internal associate promotions.

Bonuses

The traditional bonus payments were also paid towards the end of this last week, pretty much bang on usual schedule. It’s worth noting that Trilegal’s bonuses, as at many other firms, are technically discretionary (though many fee-earners have come to expect them as part of the basic pay package, and many law firms advertise it as such in campus interviews).

While bonus payments at most firms are not very easy to parse or compare, even for fee-earners themselves year-on-year, some tweaking in the formulae may have taken place in Trilegal with a a review of its “incentive scales” (a review it also carries out periodically, to be fair, even in non-Covid times).

Each level of Trilegal’s fee-earner appraisal scale (normally from 1 to 4) corresponds to a set bonus amount. Those amounts are now lower than before, though, according to several sources, top performers can still take home 100% of their bonus entitlement despite the tweaks (though they may have carried off more than 100% before).

On the other hand, lower performers may have come off a little worse this year than in previous years.

Comparison

Out of the big firms we have reported on so far, Trilegal’s response to Covid is currently more business-as-usual than most so far.

Unlike Khaitan & Co and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) that have respectively reduced and completely slashed all senior partner pay, for instance, we understand that no cuts have been made to partner pay at Trilegal; or at least, not yet and not directly.

In part that could also boil down to Trilegal being one of the few all-equity partnerships in India, amongst large firms, so if the profits go down, as seems inevitable at this point at pretty much every firm, partners would also automatically take a hit on what they get to take home.

Its bonus tweaks also appear just shy of the measures taken by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, which effectively deferred bonuses and CAM, which also part-transferred fixed pay into the variable component.

We have reached out to Trilegal regarding the above but management declined to comment at the time of publication.

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