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Five more New York firms have caved in to market pressure and upped end-of-year bonuses
Debevoise & Plimpton, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have increased associate bonuses, bringing them in line with Wall Street competitors. Skadden Arps has doubled its starting bonus figure from $2,500 (£1,700) to $5,000 (£3,500). However, its bonus scale, now ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 (£21,000), still falls short of the $20,000 (£14,000) to $50,000 (£34,900) standard set by Cravath Swaine & Moore in November. Fried Frank, Debevoise, Milbank Tweed and Paul Weiss have joined recent converts Davis Polk & Wardwell, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Willkie Farr & Gallagher in matching Cravath's figures. A Fried Frank memo to New York and London associates stated: "We are pleased to inform you that the firm will supplement the year-end bonuses we announced on 20 December 2001 for New York and London associates in the classes of 2001 through 1994." The firm's original bonus scale had started at $10,000 (£7,000) and reached $25,000 (£17,450). With additional payments the amounts are doubled. Milbank Tweed's decision will also impact upon associates in its London office. UK assistants will receive the sterling equivalent of the firm's new bonuses. The changes at Paul Reiss are less dramatic. The firm had previously announced a $20,000 to $40,000 (£27,921) range. Senior associates can now command bonus payments of $50,000.