Lovells raises entry-level points in lockstep review

Lovells has concluded the first stage of its protracted lockstep review after agreeing to increase the number of points available to new equity partners.

As first reported on www.thelawyer.com (9 August), the partnership council agreed last month to increase entry level points to 30.

The council has also agreed to review the points allocated to partners who entered the equity on 24 points. However, this is still subject to a partnership vote later this year.

Senior partner John Young told The Lawyer: “There was widespread support for applying the partnership council’s new powers retrospectively and we’re therefore confident that partners will vote in favour of the proposal.”

Until the recent change was introduced, Lovells’ lockstep ran from 24 points to 60, with an increase of three points every year over 12 years.

The second limb of the lockstep review is aimed at introducing more flexibility at the top end of the lockstep. The firm has denied that this was a defensive measure in the wake of some high-profile departures, including that of the private equity team to US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Lovells radically overhauled its remuneration system at the start of the year, which gave the firm powers to move underperforming partners down the equity ladder or to freeze them on certain points, with the agreement of the partners concerned.

The move followed a 14-month review, which showed there was very little partner appetite for adopting a system that encompasses a bonus pool or a global super-points system to reward outstanding revenue generators.