Lovells concludes lockstep review

Lovells has concluded a consultation exercise on plans to overhaul the firm’s lockstep.

Partners at the firm were given until Monday (31 January) to submit their comments to a working party, headed by senior partner John Young, on how the lockstep should be restructured.

As first revealed in The Lawyer (10 January), Lovells is considering tinkering with its lockstep as it further attempts to bolster flagging profitability.

According to well-placed Lovells sources the findings showed that there was very little support for adopting a system which encompasses a bonus pool or a global superpoints system to reward outstanding revenue generators.

“A bonus pool or superpoints is very unlikely to be seen as a measure we’d like to adopt because it’s not commensurate with the firm’s culture,” said one source.

Additionally, the sources said there was no appetite for introducing a system like Ashurst’s, which includes gateways.

“I think gateways will probably present more problems,” said the source. While another said that gateways would be too difficult to introduce and police.

Unsurprisingly, the consultation revealed that a lot of partners would support tweaking the lockstep so that partners in the less profitable overseas offices join the ladder with fewer points.

It is understood that Lovells equity partners currently start on 24 points and gather three points every 12 months over a 12-year period.

The working group is now reviewing partners’ responses and will report its findings to the Lovells’ international executive.

Lovells is declined to comment.