Biglaw bonus season is getting into full swing, and even Magic Circle firms with U.S. offices have gotten on board. Thus far, Clifford Chance and Freshfields have announced market year-end bonuses for their associates, and both firms have announced that they’d also be offering associates the prevailing special bonus rate of up to $40,000 on top of their regular bonuses. Allen & Overy and Linklaters have yet to enter the bonus scene, but a Silver Circle firm has decided to step into the bonus frenzy in their absence.
Ashurst, a global firm with 27 offices in 15 countries and about 1,600 lawyers, has matched the Baker McKenzie bonus scale for its U.S. associates. Why aren’t we calling this a Cravath match? Because just like Baker, Ashurst isn’t including any special bonuses with its year-end bonuses (yet). Here’s the bonus scale for U.S. associates:
Don’t get too excited about the firm’s relatively low billable hours requirement of 1900 hours. That’s what’s required for associates to receive just a fraction of this year’s bonus pool. Check out Ashurst’s tiered hours requirements for bonus eligibility:
Sources say the firm hasn’t offered any extraordinary performance bonuses for those who have billed more than 2200 hours, and they’re unsure if the firm will offer the special bonuses that have been matched by Clifford Chance and Freshfields.
Congratulations to Ashurst associates on their year-end bonus haul if they’ve billed enough to get it in full. Hopefully the firm will borrow some magic from its U.K. Biglaw brethren to summon those special bonus bucks.
Remember everyone, we depend on your tips to stay on top of important bonus updates, so when your firm matches, please text us (646-820-8477) or email us (subject line: “[Firm Name] Matches”). Please include the memo if available. You can take a photo of the memo and send it via text or email if you don’t want to forward the original PDF or Word file.
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Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.
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