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Davis Polk Rewards Associates with Gifts For Work in Pandemic

March 3, 2021, 9:43 PM

Davis Polk & Wardwell, which was the first Big Law firm to offer a “special bonus” of up to $40,000 for associates last year, is offering them another thank you for hard work during the pandemic in the form of high-end gift packages.

Associates have the opportunity to select a gift from a curated selection of items and experiences that include a shopping spree, fitness equipment, and wine packages, said Davis Polk managing partner Neil Barr in an email.

Above the Law first reported on the gifts and Davis Polk confirmed the report’s veracity to Bloomberg Law.

“You have met high demands with tenacity and upheld our steadfast commitment to client service without missing a beat,” Barr wrote in his message. Barr was elected as the firm’s managing partner in 2019, succeeding Thomas Reid, who now serves as chief legal officer at Comcast Corp.

“We’d like to celebrate the hope of this upcoming spring with a gift from the Firm to each of you,” he added.

Some of the gift options include a $1,000 Marriott gift card and a Tumi suitcase, a $1,000 Nordstrom shopping spree with a personal shopper, and an outdoor cinema package with a projector and Bose speakers.

This isn’t the first time that Davis Polk has rewarded its associates. In the fall the firm rewarded its associates for their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic with special bonuses ranging from $7,500 for first-year associates and up to $40,000 for its most senior associates.

Several Big Law firms soon followed Davis Polk’s lead, like Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Debevoise & Plimpton, Latham & Watkins, Shearman & Sterling, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Last year, Davis Polk also relaxed its strict lockstep compensation system, a move that frees up the firm to offer bigger pay packages to lateral recruits.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Chris Opfer at