Chadbourne & Parke, the US firm that last year hit the headlines in London with its record-breaking offer of £700,000 for a partner, is offering its associates in New York $10,000 to introduce new associates to the firm.
New York partner Jerome Katz said the firm had been unable to fulfil its demand for associates through advertising and headhunters.
He said that there was a particular shortage of associates who specialise in corporate, project finance and litigation.
The scheme, which Katz said applies to all overseas offices - Chadbournes has a four partner London office - will pay $5,000 to the associate when the new recruit is first taken on and another $5,000 if both associates are still with the firm after a year.
Chadbournes will continue to use headhunters. Another New York firm, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, had set the trend earlier this year by offering $10,000 per referral.