Slaughter and May is reviewing its associate appraisal process after introducing a raft of benefits for its junior lawyers last year.
The firm is midway through the review, which is being carried out with the help of external consultants.
Partners and associates are being consulted on how Slaughters should carry out its appraisal process, with considerations said to include how many appraisals are run every year and whether scores should be given.
The revised process looks set to be in place in time for next year’s annual appraisals.
There has been an increased focus on Slaughters’ junior lawyers this year after the firm brought in a number of perks as part of a major review of employee benefits.
Associates are now able to take four week paid sabbaticals when they reach three years’ post-qualified experience. They will also be able to work from home one day a week.
One of the key points of the survey found that 95 per cent of associates believed the firm’s “no billable hours approach” should not be changed. The firm has also boosted associate salaries by around eight to 10 per cent.
Slaughters revamped its associate appraisal system in 2013, awarded associates for the first time on four criteria: legal knowledge and skills; business and communications skills; practice management skills and people skills; and personal development.
The firm said it would be grading associates “good” or “exceptional”, coded internally as G, E and paid accordingly.
A number of firms have been piloting new ways of assessing associates, including Hogan Lovells which dropped formal annual reviews in favour of continuous feedback.
Allen & Overy also dropped annual performance appraisals in a new approach to performance management, trialling a new system involving 500 people across London, Singapore and the Middle East.
And Baker McKenzie scrapped performance ratings for all business services staff in favour of performance discussions with peer feedback.