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Linklaters has moved a step closer to an all-equity partnership following the end of its remuneration review as the law firm moves to bring its German partnership in line with its core lockstep.

Linklaters confirmed it has concluded the review of partner remuneration, which began last year. The firm is focusing on reducing the number of salaried partners, with 29 so-called national partners this year being given equity status alongside its traditional promotion round, which saw 18 elevated to partnership.

The move reduced national partner ranks, making up just under 10% of the firm’s global partnership, down from around 17% last year.

The number of salaried partners is expected to drop again next year, but managing partner Simon Davies said it is likely there will always be a small number of national partners.

Davies said that national partners gaining equity would come in on the standard 10 points awarded to new equity partners, despite claims that some could start on a lower allocation of eight points.

Separately, Linklaters has secured approval to remove the capping agreement preventing German partners from joining its core lockstep at its partnership conference in Monaco.

The removal of the capping agreement has been in place since the 2001 merger with Oppenhoff & Raedler.

Davies said the process would depend on the German businesses’ performance as to how long it would take to get all partners onto the same scale as London.

One Linklaters partner said the firm now had an agreed process “that will lead to parity” for German partners. He added: “It is an overall process, not on a case-by-case or partner-by-partner basis.”

The reduced equity model means a partner in Germany starts on 7.5 equity points rising maximum of 20, against a scale of 10 to 25 points for full-drawing partners. Davies told Legal Week: “The whole idea of making more equity available is counter-intuitive so it was important to get buy-in from the rest of the partnership.

“It reinforces the ideas of teamwork, cohesion and consistency across the firm that we need to serve our clients in the best way.”

Additional reporting by Sofia Lind.

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