Ashurst Morris Crisp is in the throes of deciding which partners will be elevated to 'super point' status, as it attempts to align its remuneration system with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.
Sources indicate that the firm's governance committee is assessing who will be awarded extra points after deciding to move away from pure lockstep if partners vote through a merger.
One lawyer said: "The criteria for being on the super point level is whether there has been a substantial demonstration of business generation over a number of years."
Private equity specialist Charlie Geffen and corporate partner Chris Ashworth are known to be large billers within the firm. Senior partner Geoffrey Green, Paris rainmaker Thomas Forschbach and corporate finance partner Adrian Clark are also recognised as leading lights.
Fried Frank uses an element of lockstep, but also has two tranches of partners on super point status. Aside from remuneration, it is not yet clear whether the firms have worked out how to meld their accounting methods, given that Ashursts works on accruals and Fried Frank works on a cash basis.