Legal Law

Simpson Thacher Enters The COVID-19 Biglaw Bonus Wars

You know what’ll put a little pep in an associate’s step when it’s close to 5 p.m.? A special bonus! Hooray!

Elite firms have been falling all over themselves to match the generous Davis Polk scale for COVID appreciation bonuses (a trend that was first started by  Cooley), and one by one, firms like Milbank, Irell, Hueston Hennigan, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Debevoise have opened up their coffers.

Who’s up next to fatten associates’ wallets? Not to be outdone by anyone, the latest firm to show associates the money is Simpson Thacher. We’ve been wondering where you’ve been. Welcome to the party! Simpson will be matching the DPW scale up to the class of 2012, and in a memo (available in full on the next page), the firm praised associates and counsel. “We are immensely grateful for your hard work and perseverance under these trying circumstances,” chairman Bill Dougherty wrote.

Here’s the scale, in case you’ve forgotten:

Class of 2019: $7,500
Class of 2018: $10,000
Class of 2017: $20,000
Class of 2016: $27,500
Class of 2015: $32,500
Class of 2014: $37,000
Class of 2013: $40,000
Class of 2012: $40,000

Simpson associates in good standing across the world will receive these special bonuses on October 15. Not to worry, because it’s unlikely the special bonuses will have an impact on year-end bonuses at the firm. (Specifically, Dougherty wrote, “We do not anticipate this special bonus will impact year-end bonus levels, which we expect to be at least consistent with last year’s amounts.”)

Congratulations to everyone at the firm.

P.S. In case you’re wondering where Cravath’s special bonus money is… so are we. Is the prestigious firm planning to come over the top or pull a Kirkland? We suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

Please help us help you when it comes to bonus news at other firms. As soon as your firm’s bonus memo comes out, please email it to us (subject line: “(Firm Name) Bonus”) or text us (646-820-8477). 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.

And if you’d like to sign up for ATL’s Bonus Alerts, please scroll down and enter your email address in the box below this post. If you previously signed up for the bonus alerts, you don’t need to do anything. You’ll receive an email notification within minutes of each bonus announcement that we publish.

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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