Legal Business Blogs

Freshfields and Linklaters last of the big four to match US associate bonuses

The remaining Magic Circle firms with a US presence have now matched Cravath, Swain & Moore‘s associate bonus payouts with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters the latest to send out memos, following Clifford Chance (CC) and Allen & Overy (A&O).

Freshfields’ US managing partner Peter Lyons sent out an internal memo to its US based associates last week confirming associates could expect their bonuses in one month. The memo, leaked to Above The Law, said its associates from the class of 2008 will receive $100,000, while 2015 and 2016 associates will both receive $15,000 (with the latter year awarded on a pro-rated basis).

Associates in the class of 2010 will take home $90,000, while 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 associates will pocket $80,000, $65,000, $50,000 and $25,000 respectively.

Linklaters’ US head Scott Bowie also confirmed US associates it would match the Cravath bonus scale. Associates ‘who are in good standing with the firm, subject to the usual pro-rations for part-time schedule and leaves of absence’ can expect the same amount of money in their pockets on December 30, according to the leaked email.

A&O and CC matched bonus levels rewarded by leading Wall Street firms last week. CC Americas chief Evan Cohen confirmed its US associates would receive their bonuses on January 13, 2017 with A&O’s US managing partner David Krischer confirming the same bonus levels and pay scales.

The Wall Street elite have made concerted efforts for some years to attract junior talent to the ranks, and in late November Cravath associates were told their year-end bonuses. Newly-qualified associates in 2016 and 2015 will receive $15,000. The bonus scale means 2014 associates will receive $25,000, 2013 will receive $50,000, while associates from 2009 will earn up to $100,000 in bonuses. The scale remains on a par with last years’ US bonuses.