Ashurst has more than doubled the number of partners at the top of its lockstep to redress the imbalance that resulted from its decision to move to a modified system four years ago.
Around 30 partners are now on the 65-point plateau, representing around a fifth of the full-equity partnership. The Lawyer has learnt that only 12 were at the top level as recently as 2008-09.
Senior partner Charlie Geffen: “It’s about getting the appropriate balance at the top of the remuneration system. At the time we changed the system we were heading for 50 per cent of equity partners at the top. We changed to around 10 per cent and that was too few.”
It is understood that a number of partners have also moved down the ladder as a result of the change, with the total number of points available to equity partners remaining the same.
Ashurst’s partnership voted to move to a modified lockstep remuneration system in 2007, with the highest share increasing from 50 to 65 points for a small group of partners.
However, Ashurst insists that the changes are to create more opportunity to reach the top of lockstep.
The spokesperson added: “When we brought in the changes we did so with very few partners at the top of the lockstep, but having a really small number isn’t an appropriate structure.”
The Ashurst lockstep starts at 25 points, with nine levels leading up to the plateau.