Linklaters introduces merit compensation

December 8, 2013 Linklaters is moving to include merit in its pay calculations, moving away from the lockstep model.

Until now, salaries have been set by level of qualification: £64k for newly qualified lawyers, £69.5k for those with one year post-qualification experience, £78.25k for two years post-qualification experience, £89k for three years post-qualification experience. Some part of the end of year bonus is linked to hours billed, but otherwise performance plays no role in calculating pay.

From May next year associates with more than two years post-qualification experience will be paid a basic salary plus a discretionary amount based on their performance, and they'll still be eligible for the same bonus based on hours billed.

RollOnFriday points out that it will take some time to see whether the new system really does reward high achievers or is just used as an excuse to trim salaries of others. But insiders at the firm have said that the wage bill is likely to increase, and a spokesman said that "we would expect the majority of associates to be better off".

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