Legal Business

Clifford Chance votes through changes to lockstep in bid to retain heavyweights

City giant’s remuneration review comes after recent key departures

In a move considered overdue by some, Clifford Chance (CC) voted through proposed changes to its remuneration system in late April, creating a more flexible lockstep by stretching the top of the ladder in a bid to retain star partners.

The firm traditionally operated a lockstep system with a single profit pool, where partners spent three years as juniors before progressing on to the equity ladder, which ranges between 40 and 100 points. Under the changes voted through, leading partners can be moved from 100 points up to either 115 or 130, while others may be brought down from the 100-point plateau to 70 points. While billed by management as a fairly comprehensive review intended to look at performance across all geographies, it remains unclear which criteria will be used to determine how partners will move up or down the ladder.