Our partnership structure

We pride ourselves on fostering a culture based on transparency and trust – and our lockstep partnership model underpins this. Inspiring collaboration, our lockstep structure ensures the firm genuinely feels like a partnership – enabling us to compete at the top of the legal market as we deliver quality work for our high profile clients. Here, we grow together and work together for the mutual benefit of our clients, our people and our community.

Lockstep model – how it works

For partners

Encouraging cohesion, loyalty and teamwork, our partnership structure places emphasis on achieving together. The aim is that partners pursue the best interests of the firm – benefitting our whole partnership and our clients, while creating greater sustainability.

In our partnership, there are two “ladders”:

  • One: the first four years

During your first four years, you’ll not only be focused on successfully transitioning to the role of partner, but looking to the future too, as you work towards your promotion to full member of the LLP. Establishing yourself in your relevant practice area, we’ll look to you to build a revenue stream of £1m+ during these first four years. Once you’ve demonstrated your business building capability, you will become a full member of the LLP, taking you to the second stage of the lockstep.

  • Two: The next seven years

During the next seven years, you’ll progress up the ladder subject to reviews after gateway years 1 and 4. After seven years, all partners who were promoted at the same time, reach parity and are financially rewarded in the same way. Partners remain at parity for a minimum of 15 years before entering a three year “sunsetting” period where the focus is on succession planning for the firm and our clients.

For lawyers

The lockstep model is reflected in the way that we reward our lawyers too; at a given level of seniority and subject to performance grade, all lawyers receive the same salary regardless of their department. For you, it means transparency, guaranteed progression and emphasis on a collaborative approach to supporting our clients.


Our Directors are really important to the success of the firm. Much like salaried Partners at other firms, Directors at Burges Salmon are board-appointed and given all the support they need to develop in their business area within our employee structure. 

Whether you choose to remain a Director, or use the role as a stepping stone on your way to becoming a Partner, you’ll enjoy the responsibility of managing and leading teams of high quality people and building up your own practice. So dive in.