It’s not about PQE, you see

The inexorable rise of associate power has reached Arnold & Porter.

The inexorable rise of associate power has reached Arnold & Porter.

As we reveal today (see story), the firm has addressed the topical issue of age discrimination by removing any direct reference to seniority in its remuneration structure.

Well, as London admin partner Tim Frazer points out, there’ll still be some link to age in salaries. “The longer you’ve been a lawyer, the more skills you should have,” he says.

Well, that’s the theory.

The US firm’s move is interesting not only because it highlights an issue that all UK firms are going to have to wrestle with sooner or later (and probably sooner), but also because once again it shows how much clearer the associate voice is being heard in the top law firms. At Arnold & Porter, the UK associates are explicitly being drawn into the design of the new structure.

Partners might not always look like they’re listening, but they are. They have to.