Linklaters partners reject lockstep changes

December 7, 2015 Linklaters partners considered changes to the pure lockstep structure for the firm but ultimately voted down any changes to the system for the time being. There will be no further steps to consider changes before senior partner elections scheduled for next year.

Partners were able to provide arguments for and against changes to the lockstep at the firm's recent November conference. The issue has appeared on the firm's agenda partly to consider market shifts, as both Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer increased their lockstep ladders in order to attract heavyweight partners as lateral hires. Linklaters has seen a lot of talent leave the firm, enticed by offers at competitor firms.

Current senior partner Robert Elliott promised a review of the firm's remuneration system as part of his platform while running for the position in 2011. The firm discussed plans to modify its lockstep earlier in the year at its April partner conference in Edinburgh. Elliott is expected not to stand for re-election next year.

Currently, it takes a Linklaters partner around 10 to 12 years to ascend to the top of the lockstep, which runs a points range from 10 to 25 points, with average annual increases of 1.5 points.

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