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Debevoise Latest Firm to Hand Out Associate Pandemic Bonuses (1)

Sept. 22, 2020, 3:09 PM; Updated: Sept. 22, 2020, 3:34 PM

Debevoise & Plimpton has matched the pandemic-related associate bonuses offered by Davis Polk & Wardwell, awarding its U.S. associates an extra $7,500 to $40,000, depending on seniority.

In an internal memo provided to Bloomberg Law, Debevoise presiding partner Michael W. Blair praised associates for their “hard work, dedication and professionalism” during the coronavirus pandemic. He said the special bonuses would be paid out at the end of October.

Cooley was the first firm reported to have offered a pandemic bonus to associates, but Davis Polk raised the bar with a higher range of bonuses last week. Milbank and several other firms have followed.

Blair said the special bonuses would not affect year-end bonuses for U.S. associates at Debevoise which he expects to be “at least equal to those paid in 2019.”

“As we have reported at our regular town halls, our clients have turned to us increasingly during this crisis and activity levels have been very strong,” he said.

The pay scale for the Debevoise special bonuses is:

Class of 2019: $7,500

Class of 2018: $10,000

Class of 2017: $20,000

Class of 2016: $27,500

Class of 2015: $32,500

Class of 2014: $37,000

Class of 2013 and senior: $40,000

Blair said bonuses for non-US associates would be communicated in a separate email and that “the commitment of our counsel will be recognized in their year-end bonuses.”

The firm declined comment on the payouts.

(Eighth paragraph updated to reflect that Debevoise declined comment. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft in New York at srussellkraft@gmail.com
To contact the editor on this story: Rebekah Mintzer in New York at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com
Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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