A strategy which robs Peter to pay Paul

CMS Cameron McKenna is to be applauded for its plans to abolish the distinction between junior and senior equity partners. It is a courageous step by a firm which has hitherto been regarded as having an unremarkable approach to law firm management.

Cameron McKenna risks losing high-profile senior equity partners because of the move. However, the proposal is part of a wider recognition by many firms that high flying junior partners are prone to being poached, especially by US law firms.

Cameron McKenna is not the only firm to have considered plans to make equity partners pay their way. Recently, Edge Ellison announced plans to strip equity partners of their status if they fail to measure up (The Lawyer, 2 August).

However, some may argue that rewarding high-fliers by punishing the senior equity partners only creates more problems in the long term. The real problem, they say, lies in the structure of firms, committed to a lockstep system which fails to properly reward effort.

A more fundamental examination of the whole method of remuneration and pay in partnerships needs to be undertaken to advance the interests of the young ambitious partners without penalising their elders.