Eversheds is extending the hoops its lawyers have to jump through before they can join the equity partnership. Fixed-share partners must now go through an assessment centre before they can be promoted to the equity. The scheme was run for the first time last month, when fixed-share partners who are hoping to enter the equity next May attended a development centre for three days. Candidates who were successful at the centre will get through to the next stage, which will involve an interview in February. The firm now intends to roll out the scheme to associates seeking to be promoted to the fixed-share partnership. Bryan Hughes, head of operations at Eversheds, said the partners were attending the development centre to create a level playing field and to create greater transparency in the promotion process. Hughes admitted that the criteria for entrance into the equity partnership was more challenging, but argued: "It's not a pass or fail situation. [Partners] won't be knocked back on the basis of this." He added that the scheme had been welcomed by fixed-share partners at the firm. "The vast majority of candidates have given us positive feedback," he emphasised. During the first two days the candidates were assessed on various competencies, including client handling and internal management skills such as attitude to risk and service delivery. The assessment team comprises the senior management team, three individual practice heads and three regional managing partners.