Davis Polk and Milbank join in wage hike trend

Two more New York firms have raised their associate salaries, suggesting the recent wave of rises among West Coast firms is being mirrored in the east. Davis Polk & Wardwell and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy increased associate pay on Wednesday (8 February) by $20,000 (£11,000) across the board, with first-years due to receive $145,000 (£82,000). The firms follow Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in matching raises announced last week by Sullivan & Cromwell. The hikes mean New York firms continue to pay first-year associates more than their West Coast equivalents. The recent round of salary hikes among West Coast-based firms, including Foley & Lardner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Morrison & Foerster and O’Melveny & Myers, boosted first-year salaries to $135,000 (£77,000) from $125,000 (£71,000). The surge began in September last year, when associate salaries were raised at mid-sized Los Angeles firms Irell & Manella, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges and Munger Tolles & Olson. But associates will have to wait for news of their bonuses to know if total pay has increased. Last year, top New York firms paid first years $125,000 in base salary with $35,000 (£20,000) bonuses. First revealed on www.thelawyer.com 9 February