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The debate about reforming associate lockstep pay in favour of an  increase in variable and more performance-related remuneration structures is set to intensify, according to the Legal Week benchmarker survey. The survey, of more than 900 lawyers, shows that the debate on pay, next to conversations about alternative fee structures and globalisation, is the single biggest issue on the minds of both partners and associates relating to terms and conditions, and one expected to be addressed by respondents over the next five years. A significant number of partners believe that associates will be paid on merit rather than experience or lockstep by 2015, with respondents suggesting that such a change might have more impact on the profession than other structural reforms and multiskilling among associates.

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