Willkie Farr announces a second round of special bonuses, only to be outdone by Davis Polk
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Updated: Willkie Farr & Gallagher is paying a second round of special bonuses to associates that range from $7,500 to $40,000, the same amount the law firm paid in the fall.
Willkie cited a “very strong finish to 2020” for its decision to pay the new bonuses, Above the Law reports. A spokesperson confirmed the payout to Law.com. The firm will pay the first half of the bonus June 30 and the second half Sept. 30.
Willkie co-chair Tom Cerabino told Law.com in a prior article that 2020 was a strong year, with the firm advising on three times as many billion-dollar deals as it did the prior year.
Above the Law published Willkie’s bonus schedule:
• Class of 2020: $7,500
• Class of 2019: $10,000
• Class of 2018: $20,000
• Class of 2017: $27,500
• Class of 2016: $32,500
• Class of 2015: $37,000
• Class of 2014 and senior: $40,000
The law firm also intends to pay regular year-end bonuses in December, according to the firm’s memo.
Both Above the Law and Law.com speculate that more law firms could follow Willkie’s lead.
“What will the rest of BigLaw do when faced with a firm that’s literally sharing the wealth and handing out even more money to its associates?” Above the Law asks. “Match the market, of course. We can’t wait to see which firm will be next.”
Davis Polk is paying spring bonuses that range from $4,500 to $24,000 and fall bonuses that range from $7,500 to $40,000. The law firm also plans to pay year-end bonuses that will be at least as high as last year’s amount.
Above the Law has the Davis Polk bonus schedule:
• Class of 2020: $4,500 in April and $7,500 in September, for a total of $12,000
• Class of 2019: $6,00 in April and $10,000 in September, for a total of $16,000
• Class of 2018: $12,000 in April and $20,000 in September, for a total of $32,000
• Class of 2017: $16,500 in April and $27,500 in September, for a total of $44,000
• Class of 2016: $19,500 in April and $32,500 in September, for a total of $52,000
• Class of 2015: $22,200 in April and $37,000 in September, for a total of $59,200
• Class of 2014 and senior, including counsel: $24,000 in April and $40,000 in September, for a total of $64,000
By Thursday afternoon, several more law firms had jumped on the bandwagon. They are:
• Fenwick & West, matching Davis Polk (Above the Law)
• Cleary Gottlieb, matching Davis Polk (Above the Law)
• Simpson Thacher, matching Davis Polk (Above the Law)
• Paul Hastings, matching Davis Polk (Above the Law)
Updated March 22 at 10:20 a.m. and again on March 25 at 3:30 p.m.