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US bonuses: Magic Circle follows Wall Street standard with bonus freeze as associate reward season comes round again

Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance have kept top-level US associate bonuses static at $100,000 for the fourth consecutive year, in line with Wall Street giant Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s recent announcement.

The Magic Circle firms are awarding year-end bonuses of $ 100,000 for 2009 and 2010 US associates and $90,000 for 2011 lawyers, A&O and CC both confirmed.

The bonus scale will see 2012 associates take home $80,000, while 2013, 2014 and 2015 associates will pocket $65,000, $50,000 and $25,000 respectively.

Newly-qualified associates in 2016 and 2017 will receive $15,000, with the latter awarded on a pro-rated basis.

The bonuses are set to be paid in January.

In keeping with tradition, Manhattan firm Cravath set the US associate bonus ball rolling, revealing its rates on Monday (27 November).

Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy and Paul Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison were quick to follow suit, matching the benchmark set by Cravath.

Linklaters and Shearman & Sterling have also committed to the same bonus scales, according to Above the Law. More firms are expected to come forward with their US associate bonus scales in the coming days.

CC and A&O US associate bonuses by year:

2009 and senior associate $100,000

2010       $100,000

2011       $90,000

2012       $80,000

2013       $65,000

2014       $50,000

2015       $25,000

2016       $15,000

2017       $15,000 (pro-rated)