Linklaters has opted to ditch individual partner targets in a bid to boost team performance as part of a global strategy refresh.
Under the leadership of managing partner Gideon Moore, Linklaters plans to stop annual appraisals for partners, and will instead host individual feedback sessions.
The reforms mark a significant cultural shift from the tenure of ex-Linklaters boss Tony Angel in the 2000s, who ushered in a metric-driven approach as a way of rating performance. Moore proposed the firm’s new ‘strategy refresh’ at the annual partners’ meeting in Monaco earlier this year.
This strategy change, which Linklaters said was a result of a consultation with “several thousand employees and well over 100 clients”, is expected to remove the focus from individual partner metrics and focus on the combined value that partners contribute together.
However, a source close to the firm has suggested to The Lawyer that the measures being introduced are a “watered-down” version of what the management proposed to partners last year and that the idea of score cards for partners was circulated last year but that it was “met with scepticism”.
The source said: “Historically, changes have been resisted by senior partners. The real challenge will be implementing these changes, which sound like a watered-down version of what has been suggested in the past.
“It sounds like this new strategy is a one-size-fits-all solution to plug discrepancies between the practices.”
A Linklaters spokesperson said: “It’s a very tangible outcome of our desire to become an even more entrepreneurial firm, with teams and practices motivated and encouraged to present Linklaters’ whole offering to clients.
“Removing the focus from individual partner metrics and placing it on the total value partners contribute, directly and indirectly, to the Firm will significantly increase our ability to be agile whilst giving clients confidence they are receiving the highest level of service.”