Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE Forum

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Tinleynez

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Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Tinleynez » Wed Jan 05, 2022 4:23 pm

There’s obviously been a lot written here about non-equity partnership at Kirkland, but I’m curious what it looks like at other top firms. Can anyone speak to what the path to non-equity partnership, compensation, and likelihood of moving into equity partnership is at other firms? Most interested in other V10 firms but the more info the better.

Tinleynez

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Tinleynez » Mon Jan 10, 2022 4:55 pm

Bumping by it seems similar questions are being raised in other topics as well. Any insight into non-equity partnership at competitor firms to Kirkland? Most interested in LW, STB, and GDC but any insight into other top firms would be helpful.

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:31 pm

I'm currently non-equity partner at a competitor firm. At the beginning of 2021, I was guaranteed base and bonus of $600,000 per year, plus whatever special bonuses that associates get. Early in the year, I was interested in lateraling to Kirkland for more money and the signing bonus. They offered me guaranteed base and bonus of $725,000 per year, plus special bonuses. I took that back to my current firm and they upped the ante to guaranteed base and bonus of $825,000 per year. I am on track to make equity partner this year or next year.

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:31 pm
I'm currently non-equity partner at a competitor firm. At the beginning of 2021, I was guaranteed base and bonus of $600,000 per year, plus whatever special bonuses that associates get. Early in the year, I was interested in lateraling to Kirkland for more money and the signing bonus. They offered me guaranteed base and bonus of $725,000 per year, plus special bonuses. I took that back to my current firm and they upped the ante to guaranteed base and bonus of $825,000 per year. I am on track to make equity partner this year or next year.
How long have you been practicing? What makes you say you're on track for equity--are you getting clear signals from partners you work with or is it a gut feeling?

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 10, 2022 7:27 pm

Any insight at a firm like Fried Frank or similar? My understanding is hourly rates are generally pretty high relative to our vault ranking (to the extent that makes a difference in comp) and are more in line with some of the more talked about shops on here, but curious what income partner comp might look like.

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Sackboy

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Sackboy » Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:50 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:31 pm
I'm currently non-equity partner at a competitor firm. At the beginning of 2021, I was guaranteed base and bonus of $600,000 per year, plus whatever special bonuses that associates get. Early in the year, I was interested in lateraling to Kirkland for more money and the signing bonus. They offered me guaranteed base and bonus of $725,000 per year, plus special bonuses. I took that back to my current firm and they upped the ante to guaranteed base and bonus of $825,000 per year. I am on track to make equity partner this year or next year.
How long have you been practicing? What makes you say you're on track for equity--are you getting clear signals from partners you work with or is it a gut feeling?
Lawyers are so weird. You should be signaling your interest in equity, actively asking about what it takes, and discussing with equity partners regarding your progress for the 3-4 years up to equity in a firm that makes equity partners in ~10 years and 2-3 years up to equity in a firm that makes equity partners in ~8 years. That's how progression works in any normal profession. Relying on a "gut feeling" is wholly unnecessary. Be a star associate/nonequity partner and communicate with the equity partners. No need to be an awkward Andy and look for the soft signs to maintain the prefffitigious "have no clue until you receive or don't receive shares" tradition.

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:50 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:31 pm
I'm currently non-equity partner at a competitor firm. At the beginning of 2021, I was guaranteed base and bonus of $600,000 per year, plus whatever special bonuses that associates get. Early in the year, I was interested in lateraling to Kirkland for more money and the signing bonus. They offered me guaranteed base and bonus of $725,000 per year, plus special bonuses. I took that back to my current firm and they upped the ante to guaranteed base and bonus of $825,000 per year. I am on track to make equity partner this year or next year.
How long have you been practicing? What makes you say you're on track for equity--are you getting clear signals from partners you work with or is it a gut feeling?
I've been practicing for 10 years now. I've had countless conversations with the lead partners in my group going back years now about what I need to do to make equity partner. They've told me that I am going up this year and they'll support me. Feedback from partners outside my group are all very positive and I've been told that they'll stand behind me.

If you're interested in making equity partner, you should be communicating with the equity partners in your group about this. Ask them what you need to do, etc.

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:32 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:50 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:31 pm
I'm currently non-equity partner at a competitor firm. At the beginning of 2021, I was guaranteed base and bonus of $600,000 per year, plus whatever special bonuses that associates get. Early in the year, I was interested in lateraling to Kirkland for more money and the signing bonus. They offered me guaranteed base and bonus of $725,000 per year, plus special bonuses. I took that back to my current firm and they upped the ante to guaranteed base and bonus of $825,000 per year. I am on track to make equity partner this year or next year.
How long have you been practicing? What makes you say you're on track for equity--are you getting clear signals from partners you work with or is it a gut feeling?
I've been practicing for 10 years now. I've had countless conversations with the lead partners in my group going back years now about what I need to do to make equity partner. They've told me that I am going up this year and they'll support me. Feedback from partners outside my group are all very positive and I've been told that they'll stand behind me.

If you're interested in making equity partner, you should be communicating with the equity partners in your group about this. Ask them what you need to do, etc.
Thanks that's awesome info; congrats. Yeah the in-group / beyond-group dynamic is definitely a thing here too, i.e., it's not enough to be loved by your home group you need to make sure people know you and appreciate your value add outside the group too; it's something I've been working on the last couple years. I'm hoping to be lined up for this in another ~2 years, maybe 1 if I'm lucky and I have a similar amount of experience so you're doing great.

Also, way to be aggressive w/ negotiating your pay even as non-equity; very nice move. To me almost more than the verbals that's the best signal you're actually up for equity i.e., they're putting their money where their mouth is to retain you because of what you add.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 10, 2022 10:22 pm

Thanks that's awesome info; congrats. Yeah the in-group / beyond-group dynamic is definitely a thing here too, i.e., it's not enough to be loved by your home group you need to make sure people know you and appreciate your value add outside the group too; it's something I've been working on the last couple years. I'm hoping to be lined up for this in another ~2 years, maybe 1 if I'm lucky and I have a similar amount of experience so you're doing great.

Also, way to be aggressive w/ negotiating your pay even as non-equity; very nice move. To me almost more than the verbals that's the best signal you're actually up for equity i.e., they're putting their money where their mouth is to retain you because of what you add.
Ah, well good luck to you! I hope you make it this year or next.

On the comp increase, that's how I am viewing it as well. I think being aggressive really helped me in that it forced them to take action and probably spurred them to actually put me up for equity partner. They told me that this was a special deal they cut for me and I'm making more than a first-year equity partner, so I saw that as a pretty good sign.

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 10, 2022 10:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:32 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:50 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:31 pm
I'm currently non-equity partner at a competitor firm. At the beginning of 2021, I was guaranteed base and bonus of $600,000 per year, plus whatever special bonuses that associates get. Early in the year, I was interested in lateraling to Kirkland for more money and the signing bonus. They offered me guaranteed base and bonus of $725,000 per year, plus special bonuses. I took that back to my current firm and they upped the ante to guaranteed base and bonus of $825,000 per year. I am on track to make equity partner this year or next year.
How long have you been practicing? What makes you say you're on track for equity--are you getting clear signals from partners you work with or is it a gut feeling?
I've been practicing for 10 years now. I've had countless conversations with the lead partners in my group going back years now about what I need to do to make equity partner. They've told me that I am going up this year and they'll support me. Feedback from partners outside my group are all very positive and I've been told that they'll stand behind me.

If you're interested in making equity partner, you should be communicating with the equity partners in your group about this. Ask them what you need to do, etc.
When do you need to start doing this?

GermanLawyer

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by GermanLawyer » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:35 am

Sackboy wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:00 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:50 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:31 pm
I'm currently non-equity partner at a competitor firm. At the beginning of 2021, I was guaranteed base and bonus of $600,000 per year, plus whatever special bonuses that associates get. Early in the year, I was interested in lateraling to Kirkland for more money and the signing bonus. They offered me guaranteed base and bonus of $725,000 per year, plus special bonuses. I took that back to my current firm and they upped the ante to guaranteed base and bonus of $825,000 per year. I am on track to make equity partner this year or next year.
How long have you been practicing? What makes you say you're on track for equity--are you getting clear signals from partners you work with or is it a gut feeling?
Lawyers are so weird. You should be signaling your interest in equity, actively asking about what it takes, and discussing with equity partners regarding your progress for the 3-4 years up to equity in a firm that makes equity partners in ~10 years and 2-3 years up to equity in a firm that makes equity partners in ~8 years. That's how progression works in any normal profession. Relying on a "gut feeling" is wholly unnecessary. Be a star associate/nonequity partner and communicate with the equity partners. No need to be an awkward Andy and look for the soft signs to maintain the prefffitigious "have no clue until you receive or don't receive shares" tradition.
+1. Agree

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 1:47 pm

When do you need to start doing this?
Ideally in your 4th or 5th year. By then you should know whether you are a star associate, based on factors like (but not limited to) your reviews, hours, level of autonomy, etc. I would be very upfront and honest that you want to make partner at the firm and to let you know what you can work on to achieve that goal. Unless you're way off base and partner isn't in the cards, they'll usually give you some tangible things to work on. Work on those things and make sure to regularly check in with your partners about how you're doing on those things. When you're a midlevel, once or twice a year is probably sufficient. As you get closer, as a 6th/7th year, I would be checking in at least once a quarter, if not having regular conversations with your partners from time to time. By then, if it's going to happen, you and the partners should be discussing this organically on a regular basis.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 3:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 1:47 pm
When do you need to start doing this?
Ideally in your 4th or 5th year. By then you should know whether you are a star associate, based on factors like (but not limited to) your reviews, hours, level of autonomy, etc. I would be very upfront and honest that you want to make partner at the firm and to let you know what you can work on to achieve that goal. Unless you're way off base and partner isn't in the cards, they'll usually give you some tangible things to work on. Work on those things and make sure to regularly check in with your partners about how you're doing on those things. When you're a midlevel, once or twice a year is probably sufficient. As you get closer, as a 6th/7th year, I would be checking in at least once a quarter, if not having regular conversations with your partners from time to time. By then, if it's going to happen, you and the partners should be discussing this organically on a regular basis.
this seems ideal, but early. my firm is 8-year equity track and the uniform message from the partnership (junior equity partners specifically) is that nothing you do in your first 4 years is particularly relevant, beyond you learning/growing

people have quit around year 4, come back, and made equity. we barely have real reviews for the first couple, would be unusual for fourth-year to be "on someone's radar" as partnership material at this point. if you clerked twice (for example) and joined a new firm---not unusual, plenty of people make partner doing that---you're only 1.5 years in

obviously being very well-regarded 4 years in is fantastic, can't hurt. and disclaimer that I am not a partner.

Anonymous User
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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:31 pm
I'm currently non-equity partner at a competitor firm. At the beginning of 2021, I was guaranteed base and bonus of $600,000 per year, plus whatever special bonuses that associates get. Early in the year, I was interested in lateraling to Kirkland for more money and the signing bonus. They offered me guaranteed base and bonus of $725,000 per year, plus special bonuses. I took that back to my current firm and they upped the ante to guaranteed base and bonus of $825,000 per year. I am on track to make equity partner this year or next year.
Sorry if this is a stupid question, are the numbers above all-in comp (other than special bonuses)? In other words, you're not suggesting that you're getting $825k/year now + 100% bonus (so all in comp excluding special bonuses of $1.65mm)?

Selfishly asking since I am up for non-equity partner this year and considering an in-house exit for all-in comp around $450k, but would seriously re-consider depending on your answer to my question...

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:09 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:31 pm
I'm currently non-equity partner at a competitor firm. At the beginning of 2021, I was guaranteed base and bonus of $600,000 per year, plus whatever special bonuses that associates get. Early in the year, I was interested in lateraling to Kirkland for more money and the signing bonus. They offered me guaranteed base and bonus of $725,000 per year, plus special bonuses. I took that back to my current firm and they upped the ante to guaranteed base and bonus of $825,000 per year. I am on track to make equity partner this year or next year.
Sorry if this is a stupid question, are the numbers above all-in comp (other than special bonuses)? In other words, you're not suggesting that you're getting $825k/year now + 100% bonus (so all in comp excluding special bonuses of $1.65mm)?

Selfishly asking since I am up for non-equity partner this year and considering an in-house exit for all-in comp around $450k, but would seriously re-consider depending on your answer to my question...
Not OP, but they clearly didn't say anything about 100% bonus. They mean 600k + 64K special bonus, 725K + 64k special bonus, and 825K + 64k special bonus. Really not sure how you can possibly think non-equity partners are making 1.7M.

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:14 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:09 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:31 pm
I'm currently non-equity partner at a competitor firm. At the beginning of 2021, I was guaranteed base and bonus of $600,000 per year, plus whatever special bonuses that associates get. Early in the year, I was interested in lateraling to Kirkland for more money and the signing bonus. They offered me guaranteed base and bonus of $725,000 per year, plus special bonuses. I took that back to my current firm and they upped the ante to guaranteed base and bonus of $825,000 per year. I am on track to make equity partner this year or next year.
Sorry if this is a stupid question, are the numbers above all-in comp (other than special bonuses)? In other words, you're not suggesting that you're getting $825k/year now + 100% bonus (so all in comp excluding special bonuses of $1.65mm)?

Selfishly asking since I am up for non-equity partner this year and considering an in-house exit for all-in comp around $450k, but would seriously re-consider depending on your answer to my question...
Not OP, but they clearly didn't say anything about 100% bonus. They mean 600k + 64K special bonus, 725K + 64k special bonus, and 825K + 64k special bonus. Really not sure how you can possibly think non-equity partners are making 1.7M.
Anon who asked the question above. Agree -- thought that was WAYYY above what a NEP would make, even at the tippy top firms. Just wasn't clear from the post whether those were all-in numbers / no break down provided between base/bonus.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:37 pm

I'm the anon who posted the comp details above. Those numbers are my guaranteed, all-in comp for a given year. I would get additional comp above those numbers if the firm paid a special bonus, or if they give me an extra discretionary bonus. For example, in 2021, I was paid a total of $889k ($825k guaranteed comp plus $64k special bonus). For 2022, I will make at least $825k. Hopefully that clears things up.

Anonymous User
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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:00 pm

At both equity-only firms that I've been at, you start off with very few "shares" of equity so you're essentially paid just above a senior associate.

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 7:27 pm
Any insight at a firm like Fried Frank or similar? My understanding is hourly rates are generally pretty high relative to our vault ranking (to the extent that makes a difference in comp) and are more in line with some of the more talked about shops on here, but curious what income partner comp might look like.
FF does not have a non equity partner tier

Tinleynez

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Tinleynez » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:30 pm

Does anyone have more firm-specific info? Most curious in comparing what non equity partnership looks like at different firms. I.e. how does path to non equity, comp, chances for shares look at LW vs STB? Since everyone says non equity is the only realistic partnership these days you’d think there’d be more info out there about what it looks like at each firm.

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Re: Non-equity partnership at top firms other than KE

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 18, 2022 4:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:54 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 7:27 pm
Any insight at a firm like Fried Frank or similar? My understanding is hourly rates are generally pretty high relative to our vault ranking (to the extent that makes a difference in comp) and are more in line with some of the more talked about shops on here, but curious what income partner comp might look like.
FF does not have a non equity partner tier
Apparently as of 2020 they did:

https://www.friedfrank.com/siteFiles/Ne ... 1Fried.pdf

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