Olswang has overhauled its partner remuneration system and equity structure, introducing a model that has abolished the distinction between fixed-share and full equity partners.
The new system, which is being implemented during the current financial year, has replaced the two categories of partner with a single partnership.
Previously Olswang had A and B partners, the latter remunerated by a fixed share of profit plus a bonus. Now all partners will be assessed on a balanced scorecard based on a range of increasingly tough criteria covering four quadrants – client contribution, internal contribution, external contribution and performance.
“We’re now moving from two categories of partner to one partnership,” confirmed chief executive David Stewart. “The idea is to align our remuneration policy with our strategic goals and to make it clearer to partners what they need to do to increase remuneration.”
Stewart said there was “a presumption of progress but not an entitlement” under the merit-based remuneration system.
The revamped system has five gateways, with three steps between each gate, making 15 steps in total.
For the purposes of reporting average profit per equity partner numbers, Olswang will treat the top three bands as full equity partners.
In the final year of Olswang’s former equity structure, 2010-11, the Holborn firm had a total of 120 partners, 65 of whom were full equity.
It is understood the firm is also considering introducing a ’local partner’ category for non-UK partners.