THE LAWYERS WEEKLY
February 17, 2012 | 21
FINEPICS / DREAMSTIME.COM
ACE Canada® is a subsidiary of the ACE Group headed by ACE
Limited (NYSE: ACE). The ACE Group is one of the world’s largest
providers of commercial property and casualty insurance and
reinsurance, with $83 billion in assets and more than $19 billion of
gross written premium in 2010.
Vice President & General Counsel
The purpose of this position is to provide legal, regulatory and compliance counsel to ACE
Canada’s business divisions and executives, both directly and through assigned legal staff.
Responsible for managing the legal and compliance functions and staff and to identify, monitor and provide legal counsel relating to regulatory and legal developments. The incumbent
will keep management and compliance informed of relevant new and amended laws and
regulations, through regular counsel, reports, publications and presentations and conduct
or manage legal, regulatory and compliance research on issues. Additional responsibilities
include review of existing and creation of new company policies and procedures to ensure
compliance with laws, rules and regulations and to minimize liability; hiring and legal staff
development. Requirements include: excellent legal research and writing skills; excellent
communication and interpersonal skills, with a track record of building relationships and effective partnerships across constituencies; strong leadership and management skills; and a
law degree and bar admittance with 10 or more years of legal experience in the field of property and casualty insurance, reflecting a record of accomplishment. To view the posting in
its entirety, please visit our website at www.ace-ina-canada.com. Please submit your resume to: Dayle Hawkins; Fax: (416) 368-9825; Email: email@example.com. We
thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those considered will be contacted.
Firms struggle to find
right bonus structure
Bonus season is coming, and it seems
no matter how much time firms invest in
trying to devise the best structure to
reward the efforts of their lawyers, someone is always left complaining
about how their system is lacking.
Why is it so difficult to get bonus
structures right? Is your competitor’s structure really that much
better than yours? How do you
know if you’re getting it right?
As a general rule, the test of
your bonus structure — indeed,
your overall compensation system — is whether it results in keeping the lawyers you want.
The typical bonus structures in
the market fall into three categories.
broader contribution to the firm beyond
pure (typically financial) metrics.
The challenge for discretionary models
is frequently the lack of transparency as to
how individual bonuses are arrived
at. More to the point, many associates cynically see discretionary
models as code for “no bonus,”
which can easily happen—
particularly in a down market.
The key to establishing a functioning discretionary model is to
set out the full range of considered
criteria, explain why they are valued, and create as much transparency as possible. Moreover, it is
important to be honest when setting out the range for eligible bonuses.
That means being able to show examples
of those who achieved at the various levels within the structure, to help give
others a sense of matching achievement
A full discretionary bonus structure is
one in which no objective, measured elements determine how bonuses are paid
out by the firm. Firms using a discretionary model typically provide some guidelines as to what factors are taken into
consideration but, ultimately, the decision is subjective and typically made by
When done properly, fully discretionary bonus structures afford the firm the
ability to measure a broader range of categories beyond hours recorded or fees
collected, recognizing contributions that
have a net positive impact on the firm.
Bar Association involvement, teaching,
mentorship, community stewardship, or
other non-financial contributions are
more readily recognized under such models, ideally establishing a reward system
that encourages lawyers to adopt an
approach to practice that reflects a
Metric driven model
A pure metric bonus structure is one in
which bonuses are paid out based on a
strict formula, most frequently associated
with billable hours and/or fees collected.
Under such models, lawyers have the
advantage of knowing exactly what their
reward will be for a given level of performance. Firms typically provide a grid or
payout chart, based on various thresholds
or performance levels, with associated
payouts at each level.
Metric-based bonus structures have the
advantage of predictability: Those operating under such models have great certainty
as to how their compensation will be
affected based on specified performance
See Bonus Page 22
Are you looking to join a growing rm? If so, Zarek Taylor Grossman
Hanrahan is the place for you.
From our 6 lawyer inception in 1997, we have grown to 34 lawyers
in 2012. We are an insurance defence boutique law rm, located
in Downtown Toronto, with excellence in providing defence of tort,
accident benets, property and general insurance litigation matters.
We are currently looking for two associates to join our growing rm.
What we are looking for:
• You have 2+ years of prior experience as an insurance defence
or plaintiff lawyer; experience with accident benets, bodily injury,
property and/or comprehensive general liability will be considered
• You are a member in good standing with the Law Society of Upper
• You demonstrate excellent judgment
• You are able to work well independently as well as in a team
• You possess exceptional organizational skills
• You are able to work in a fast-paced team environment and meet
• You possess excellent written and oral communication skills as
well as research skills.
• You are a self-starter.
Salary based on experience. Benets package available.
Please forward your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting “Insurance
Defence Counsel” in the subject line of your email application.
We thank all applicants.
However, only those selected for an interview will be contacted