Big Law’s associate bonus season is in full swing as Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and Proskauer Rose announced that they will be handing out a pair of bonuses to their attorneys.
In a memorandum sent by Fried Frank chairman David Greenwald to the firm on Monday, the Wall Street firm said that it will pay both year-end and special bonuses to its associates in New York, Washington, and London, matching the scale announced by Cravath Swaine & Moore and followed by several firms over the past week.
The year-end associate bonus season follows an uncertain year for firms as they navigated the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. But for some of the Big Law’s top law firms, and their associates, the year has been busier than initially expected.
Year-end bonuses will start at $15,000 for first-year associates and reach up to $100,000 for the most senior.
Fried Frank is also handing out special bonuses, ranging from $7,500 to $40,000 based on tenure at the firm, which matches the pay scale of fall bonuses announced in September by fellow Wall Street firm Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Fried Frank, like Cravath, Kirkland & Ellis, Paul Weiss, and several other firms declined to hand out fall bonuses.
In a memo viewed by Bloomberg Law, Proskauer said it will also be matching the Cravath scale for both year-end and special bonuses. The bonuses will be paid out on Dec. 22.
In addition to the pair of bonuses, Fried Frank associates are eligible to receive a premium of 15% or 30% above the year-end bonus amount for their class, Greenwald’s memo noted.
For example, with the addition of the special bonus, a Class of 2013 associate is eligible to receive a maximum year-end bonus of $170,000, Greenwald said.
Greenwald also noted that the special bonuses are not subject to a productivity requirement and will be paid out Dec. 31.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton , Clifford Chance, Debevoise & Plimpton, Milbank, Paul Weiss, Ropes & Gray, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom are all among the law firms that are set to pay their associates up to $140,000 in total bonuses this year.
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