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US bonuses: CC and A&O match Cravath reward of up to $100,000 for associates

Magic Circle firms Allen & Overy (A&O) and Clifford Chance (CC) have stepped up to match bonus levels rewarded by leading Wall Street firms.

US associates at CC from 2008 and 2009 were told today (1 December) their year-end bonuses will total $100,000.

An internal memo circulated by CC Americas chief Evan Cohen confirmed that the bonus scale will see 2010 associates take home $90,000, while 2011, 2012 and 2013 associates will pocket $80,000, $65,000 and $50,000 respectively.

Those associates from 2014 will take home a $25,000 bonus and 2015 and 2016 associates will both receive $15,000 (with the latter year awarded on a pro-rated basis).

Bonuses are to be paid on January 13, 2017. As in prior years, individual bonuses are based on an assessment of each associate’s overall performance, including quality of work, contribution to the firm, teamwork and pro bono efforts.

A&O has also matched the same scale with US managing partner David Krischer stating yesterday the firm would match the Cravath, Swaine & Moore bonus scale for all US associates.

The Wall Street elite have made concerted efforts for some years to attract junior talent to the ranks, and this week Cravath associates were told their year-end bonuses on Monday afternoon (27 November). 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.

After Cravath announced its new bonus round, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Davis Polk & Wardwell both matched their New York rival.