Clifford Chance Announces Bonuses
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Clifford Chance

The law firm of Clifford Chance LLP announced on Wednesday that the firm would issue $42,500 year-end bonuses to eighth-year associates and above. This scale matches that of a new scale established y rival law firms last week across the country, according to Law360.

The new bonus scale was set by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. These firms announced last week that they would be issuing bonuses for the class of 2003 and earlier valued at $42,500.


For the most part, the bonus scale for Clifford Chance match the bonus scale set forth by Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP at the end of last month. Their bonuses range from $7,500 for first-year hires to $37,500 for seventh-year associates. The most senior level associates at Cravath are those that were hired in 2004.

From its headquarters in New York, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP announced on Wednesday that their firm would hand out year-end bonuses to its associates but did not elaborate as to the value of those bonuses.

“As we have done in the past, Akin Gump is matching the market bonus in [New York],” firm spokeswoman Kathryn Holmes Johnston said in a statement Wednesday. “For all other domestic offices, Akin Gump is awarding merit bonuses that will be determined in January and paid Feb. 15, 2012. A determination regarding spring bonuses will be made in 2012.”

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Susman Godfrey LLP  announced on Tuesday that its firm would be handing out bonuses at year’s end to its associates ranging from $40,000 to $110,000. This amount is slightly lower than last year’s bonuses, which is a result of its earnings dropping to 95 percent of what the firm earned in 2010.

The bonuses from Susman Godfrey LLP have already been paid to the associates and were based on seniority and hours worked. Even though the overall range of the bonus scale took a hit this year, individual associates should earn more than they did last year. The standard rate for seventh-year associates is still beat out by the bottom end of the Susman Godfrey LLP scale.

The bonus scale set at $42,500 will also be matched by Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP, which made the announcement this week. Their announcement came one day after the announcement from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP announced their bonuses.

The Cravath bonus scale for 2011 closely matches its bonus scale from 2010, but differs just a tiny bit. Law firms across the country have made announcements for the past couple of weeks about their year-end bonuses for associates. It is expected that more law firms across the country will be announcing bonus plans within the next week as we creep closer to 2012.


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