DWF details share-based incentive plan for senior executives

Knowles: Incentive plan

The three senior executives at DWF – the only law firm listed on the main London Stock Exchange – have been awarded 1.5m shares subject to the firm meeting certain performance targets by 2024.

The announcement shows the way in which listed law firms are able to incentivise managers.

Chief executive Sir Nigel Knowles will receive 820,000 shares, chief finance officer 353,000 and chief operating officer 331,000.

The awards, made under DWF’s equity incentive plan, will vest after three years subject to continued employment if they meet the targets on earnings per share (EPS) growth, return on capital employed (ROCE) growth and cash conversion rate over three years to 30 April 2024 – weighted 40% for each of the first two and 20% for the final target.

They will receive 20% of the awards if the firm hits thresholds of 33.8p EPS growth, 26% ROCE growth and 82% cash conversion rate, 50% if it reaches targets of 37.6p, 29% and 91% respectively, and the full amount for 41.3p, 32% and 101% respectively.

The vested shares will be subject to a two-year holding period before being released; no consideration was paid for the grant of the awards and no price is payable on their exercise.

Separately, the trio have also been handed 130,000 shares each under a deferred bonus plan, while Michele Cicchetti, the head of DWF Italy, received 56,000.

The awards represent 50% of the bonus awarded for the period to 30 April 2021. They will vest after three years, subject to continued employment. Again no consideration was paid or will be paid on exercise.

Earlier this month, partners and staff at DWF sold nearly £14m of shares, while in September 2020 DWF partners sold shares worth £4.25m at the first opportunity to dispose of some of the stock they received from the 2019 float.

DWF listed in March 2019 at 122p and reached a high of 142p shortly before lockdown last year. The price fell to 53p in late June last year but has recovered steadily since, closing yesterday at 115p.

Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Understanding vicarious trauma in the legal workplace

Vicarious trauma can happen to anyone who works with clients who have experienced trauma such as domestic or other violence, child abuse, sexual assault, torture or being a refugee.

Does your integrity extend far enough?

Simply telling a client they need to seek financial advice or offering them the business cards of three financial planners you know is NOT a referral.

Enhancing wellbeing: Strategies for a balanced work-life

Finding a balance between work and personal life has been a long-standing challenge for many professionals, particularly within high-pressure environments like the legal industry.

Loading animation