Lawyer Pay

Davis Polk Halves Associate Year-End Bonuses, Nixes Special Bonuses


Davis Polk & Wardwell will cut year-end associate bonuses in half, following the lead of two other law firms.

Bonuses will range from a prorated $17,500 for first-year associates to $32,500 for those with the most experience, the Am Law Daily reports. Last year’s special bonuses of $10,000 to $50,000 are also being nixed this year.

Davis Polk managing partner John Ettinger confirmed the lower bonuses in an interview with the Am Law Daily. “We’ve always believed that bonuses should reflect general economic conditions, including the environment that our clients are experiencing,” he said. “As is obvious, the economy faces a recession, liquidity crisis, and massive financial deleveraging.”

Both Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Simpson Thacher and Bartlett have cut year-end bonuses by half. Cravath will pay a maximum of $30,000 and Simpson a maximum of $32,500. Neither firm has mentioned any special bonuses.

Above the Law first reported the bonus cut at Davis Polk on Monday.

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