Associates at Linklaters are to be paid, at least in part, on their ability rather than length of experience.

At the moment the firm pays salaries that are set by level of qualification: £64k for NQ, £69.5k for 1PQE, £78.25k for 2PQE, £89k for 3PQE. If associates get particularly beasted on their hours they may get a bonus at the end of the year, but this doesn't take into account their ability more generally.

However this will change from May next year, when associates with more than 2PQE will be paid a basic salary plus a discretionary amount based on their performance, as reported by The Lawyer. Plus they'll still be eligible for the same bonus, so in theory those technically brilliant associates who are team players, live for their clients and work like Spanish donkeys could see a rise in their pay. Whilst slapdash associates who avoid clients whenever possible and slip out via the fire escape on Friday evenings will earn less.

    El burro Linklaters mañana

As with RPC's recent move to merit-based pay for NQs, it will take a while to see whether the new systems really does reward high achievers or is just used as an excuse to trim salaries of others. But insiders at the firm have told RollOnFriday that the wage bill is likely to increase, and a spokesman said that "we would expect the majority of associates to be better off".

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Anonymous 11 December 13 11:00

The firm doesn't expect to pay out more. In fact associates have been expressly and repeatedly told that there is no additional money available. So there will be a lot of Peter's being robbed to pay Paul more.

Anonymous 12 December 13 17:20

My information came from the associate forum. So the associate forum is also misinformed then.

Anonymous 12 December 13 22:40

That explains why the Associate Forum emails stopped - too much Chinese Whispers? In the official meetings, we were told that spend was expected to increase slightly and that the bonus pool had reduced.