Titmuss Sainer to drop lockstep pay

Titmuss Sainer Dechert is dumping its lockstep pay structure in favour of a meritocracy policy as it finally merges with long-time US alliance partner Dechert Price & Rhoads.

Titmuss Sainer, which has held an alliance with its US counterpart for six years, is smaller than Dechert Price’s office which has more than 168 partners compared with the UK firm’s 46.

The move to a US style of remuneration is in contrast to Clifford Chance, the only other successful UK-US merger, when it linked with Rogers & Wells last year.

But Steven Fogel, senior partner at Titmuss Sainer, now to be known as Dechert, says: “Clifford Chance was a very different deal. You had a huge US firm merging with a UK firm on a UK accounting basis.

“That option was not available to us as a smaller UK firm merging with a US firm. We couldn’t expect them to come into the UK on our system of accounting.”

As part of the merger, which will create a 780 fee-earner practice, the firm will implement a policy committee with representatives from its main offices and Fogel will become London managing partner.

Dechert Price chairman Bart Winokur will become first chairman of the merged entity, while Titmuss Sainer’s chief executive will retain his position when the firms converge.

The merged firm will have seven offices in the US and three in Europe, including Brussels and Paris.

However, Fogel says the firm is hoping to find a merger partner in Germany but has not started merger talks with any practice in the region as yet.

The merger was unanimously voted through by each of the partners. However, a spokeswoman denied speculation that several partners were leaving because of the merger.

She says: “Steven has been in discussions with three partners for a year. They are considering positions outside the law profession.”