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Ashurst to revamp lockstep and add bonus pool after financials disappoint

Following another disappointing round of financial results, Ashurst is considering implementing a raft of changes to partner remuneration.

After PEP fell 19% down to £603,000 from £747,000 for the financial year 2015/16, partners are being asked to vote on a several remuneration changes.

Planned changes include a shakeup of the firm’s lockstep ladder to 75 points up on the firm’s current 65 to help retain talent at the firm, with the bottom of the ladder remaining at its current 25.

In a push to bring its fixed share partners in line with equity partners, Ashurst is looking to give those fixed share partners a greater, fixed share of the equity pool, bringing them in line with the firm’s equity partners.

There are also plans to introduce a bonus pool to award big billers for good performances.

Last week the firm posted its second year of falling revenues following its merger with Blake Dawson in 2013 with turnover dipping by £28m, bringing the firm’s revenues down 10% to £505m.

The drop follows a 4% decrease last firm, when revenues fell to £561m from £568m.

The firm has seen a shakeup in its executive team this year, with the partnership voting in Sydney-based banking partner Paul Jenkins as its managing partner. He joins New Zealander Ben Tidswell who sits as chairman.

Ashurst has also seen a number of partner exits this year. Equity capital markets partner Jonathan Parry and disputes specialist Mark Clarke both left the firm for White & Case, while corporate partner and board member former Anthony Clare left for Stephenson Harwood. Financial institutions partner James Perry also departed in April for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Yesterday (12 July) it was announced restructuring partner Simon Baskerville was also exiting to join Latham & Watkins.

Ashurst declined to comment.