Signage is seen outside of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

‘Special’ bonuses are back with new Paul Weiss associate payouts

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(Reuters) – Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is sweetening some associates’ and counsels’ compensation with a new spherical of “discretionary special bonuses,” in accordance with an inside memo, highlighting the challenges many legislation corporations are dealing with to retain their prime youthful attorneys.

The New York-founded agency pays the bonuses in installments in mid-November and early subsequent yr, rewarding “those associates and counsel who exhibited exceptional commitment in support of our firm and our clients,” chairman Brad Karp mentioned within the Wednesday memo.

The funds do not substitute Paul Weiss’s conventional year-end bonuses, Karp mentioned. The memo did not element the scale of the bonuses or how their distribution might be determined.

A spokeswoman for the agency confirmed the authenticity of the memo, which was revealed on authorized weblog Above the Legislation, however declined to present different particulars.

Michelle Fivel, a companion at authorized recruiting agency Main, Lindsey & Africa, mentioned she has “little doubt” that main legislation corporations will proceed to make use of non-traditional bonuses to remain aggressive and meet intense consumer demand, particularly for company work.

“They’re all trying to attract talent, particularly on the transactional side,” Fivel mentioned. “And money is a big lever that they’re trying to pull during the recruitment process and retention process.”

The particular bonus development took maintain within the trade final fall, as excessive workloads for junior and mid-level attorneys collided with the additional stresses and residential obligations of the pandemic. Willkie Farr & Gallagher kicked off one other bonus spherical in March, pledging to present associates from $7,500 to $40,000 primarily based on class yr. Davis Polk shortly after upped the ante, saying two-installment bonuses that ranged from $12,000 to $64,000.

Many corporations additionally raised salaries through the summer time, with prime market pay rising from $190,000 to above $200,000 for first-year associates in sure markets.

Learn extra:

Are Big Law’s ‘special’ associate bonuses here to stay?

Some corporations rush to match associate raises as others watch and wait

Surpassing Milbank, Davis Polk boosts 1st-year associate pay to $202,500

Xiumei Dong

Xiumei Dong covers authorized trade information, with a deal with legislation agency technique and development, in-house counsel and the Washington, D.C., authorized market. Attain her at [email protected]