Ashurst has mooted extending the length of time it takes for junior equity partners to gain senior status, dropping the value of an equity point by a third.
Junior equity partners receive a small number of equity points, which are determined on a case-by-case basis, as well as a salary until they progress into the firm’s nine-year equity lockstep.
Until now the majority of the firm’s junior partners have taken two years to enter the lockstep, with their number of equity points remaining unchanged during that time.
A memo sent to the firm has suggested that most junior partners will now take three years to reach the firm’s lockstep, which runs from 25 to 65 points. After the firm’s average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure dropped by 35 per cent in the 2008-09 financial year, the value of an equity point has fallen from just over £22,000 at the 2007-08 financial year-end to around £14,250.
Ashurst managing partner Simon Bromwich said: “We’ve seen a move towards three years, but partners can still reach [the lockstep] in less.
“This is for a number of reasons, including having a higher number of partners at the junior level.”