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More law firms join end-of-year bonus race following Cravath

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  • Firms say they’re going to give out affiliate bonuses starting from $15,000 to $115,000
  • Boies Schiller and Cadwalader supply additional money to those that invoice extra hours

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(Reuters) – A trio of huge law firms mentioned Tuesday that they’re going to pay year-end affiliate bonuses on a scale largely matching that of frequent trade pay pacesetter Cravath, Swaine & Moore, amid a extremely aggressive marketplace for lawyer recruitment.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Boies Schiller Flexner all mentioned they’d pay bonuses this yr starting from $15,000 for first-year associates as much as $115,000 for essentially the most senior. Boies Schiller and Cadwalader additionally mentioned they’d supply extra money for associates who’ve clocked additional billable hours.

Cravath kicked off the most recent spherical of bonuses Monday, rising charges for associates throughout the board, together with by 15% over final yr’s payouts for essentially the most skilled associates.

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Associates at many massive firms over the past 18 months have been showered with extra money from their employers, as demand for his or her work has surged, particularly in transactional practices. Payouts apart from end-of-year bonuses have come within the type of wage raises and “special bonuses,” usually paid in installments.

Boies Schiller mentioned in its Tuesday bonus memo that it might pay “extraordinary” and “extra-extraordinary” end-of-year bonuses of as much as $140,000 for associates billing 2,350 hours this yr or extra, and as much as $150,000 for these billing 2,600 or extra.

The litigation agency’s affiliate headcount has dwindled amid a firmwide restructuring and a slew of associate departures. London-based associate Natasha Harrison, as soon as seen as subsequent in line to run Boies Schiller, is ready to go away, two sources near the agency mentioned final week.

Cadwalader mentioned in its Tuesday bonus announcement that its associates working 2,200 or extra billable hours this yr will obtain 120% of the agency’s set year-end bonuses.

In addition to money, some firms in latest months have provided present incentives to associates. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom is giving associates a “holiday appreciation gift” that features an iPad Pro 11, in accordance with a agency memo printed by Above the Law on Tuesday.

More massive firms are more likely to reveal their affiliate bonus payouts earlier than the top of 2021.

Michelle Fivel, a associate at authorized recruiting agency Major, Lindsey & Africa, mentioned she expects most will fall in keeping with Cravath’s bonuses, however would not be “shocked” if one other agency ups the ante.

Read extra:

Cravath kicks off year-end bonus season with payouts reaching $115K

Boies guarantees ‘extra-extraordinary’ bonuses to associates

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Xiumei Dong

Xiumei Dong covers authorized trade news, with a give attention to law agency technique and development, in-house counsel and the Washington, D.C., authorized market. Reach her at Xiumei.Dong@thomsonreuters.com.

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