As often happens in Big Law, firms are quick to play a follow-the-leader game, particularly when it comes to associate salary and bonuses.
Although more prevalent prior to the 2008-2009 crash, it seems that associates are once again demanding higher salaries. The firm leading the way this time is Wall Street heavyweight Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
The firms following Cravath are Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy. All will pay bonuses of up to $100k this year.
Both firms have announced that they will be matching the associate bonus scale set by Cravath for associates in their U.S. offices.
This week, Clifford Chance confirmed that associates with more than nine years PQE will be receiving a $100k bonus this year, ranging downwards in increments to $15,000 for associates that qualified in 2015 and 2016. As with other years, associates will be paid bonuses based on an assessment of their personal contribution to the firm, including the quality of their work, teamwork and pro-bono efforts. The bonuses are set to be paid on Jan. 17.
Meanwhile, Allen & Overy U.S. managing partner David Krischer has confirmed that the firm will also be matching the Cravath associate bonus scale. Announced earlier this week, Cravath’s scale remains unchanged from last year and is as follows:
2008 & 2009 associates: $100,000
2016: $15,000 (pro-rated)