Trowers contrives merit-based switch

Trowers & Hamlins is consulting fee-earners over plans to abandon its PQE model in favour of a merit-based remuneration system.

The proposal was first mooted following the firm’s salary review in May, but it has now kicked off a formal consultation process and hopes to have a new system in place by next year.
The first meeting with associates was held two weeks ago, with another scheduled to take place today (8 November).

Trowers HR director Paul Robinson said details of the new remuneration system will be drawn up after the consultation ends next month.

Under the current system newly qualified associates start on £55,000, with that figure rising by around 9 per cent each year.

“We’re looking for feedback from fee-earners and don’t simply want to impose this on them,” Robinson told The Lawyer.

Asked how fee-earners had reacted to the proposals, Robinson replied: “There’s been no philosophical disagreement with the idea of moving from PQE to a more transparent and structured system.”

Trowers would be one of a string of City firms to move away from what is seen as an increasingly outdated PQE model. Those that have adopted merit-based remuneration systems include Allen & Overy, Ashurst and Stephen Harwood.