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March 31, 2010 11:47 AM

Linklaters Back to Full Lockstep

Posted by Zach Lowe

Abandoning lockstep pay for associates has been all the rage among U.S. firms that consider themselves trendsetters. Some of the firms that have broken from lockstep and moved toward merit-based pay over the last year have frozen associate salaries as an initial step in the process. 

But at Linklaters, considered something of a bellwether for the London market, the firm has decided to stick with lockstep and avoid any pay freeze for associates, according to the U.K.-based publication Legal Week. Linklaters never froze salaries for its associates, but it did cut the percentage-raise lawyers receive as they move up the ranks of the firm, Legal Week says. 

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, another member of London's Magic Circle, announced last month that it is raising associate salaries this year after freezing associate pay in 2009, Legal Week says.

Firms that have unveiled plans to abandon lockstep in the U.S. include DLA Piper, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

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