Simmons & Simmons, Shearman & Sterling and Stephenson Harwood move to merit-based pay

March 19, 2010 The trend toward merit-based pay systems in major law firms continues, with Simmons & Simmons, Shearman & Sterling and Stephenson Harwood being the latest to announce that they are moving away from the lockstep model.

From 1 May, associates at Simmons & Simmons will be rewarded entirely on ability. The full details of the scheme have not yet been released, and a spokeswoman for the firm would only confirm that a telanted associate would have “the potential to earn more”.

Shearman & Sterling is opting for a hybrid model: lawyers will be placed in one of three pay bands depending upon how long they have been qualified, and within these bands pay will be determined by performance.

Stephenson Harwood will maintain its current pay brackets, but associates will move up the ladder on the basis of perfomance rather than post qualified experience.

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