Singapore firms slash bonuses

Singapore's top local law firms have slashed associate bonuses this year by around 60 per cent

The majority of the island state's firms are involved in the cuts, including some of those in joint ventures with international firms.
Allen & Overy's partner Shook Lin & Bok, Freshfields-tied Drew & Napier, Linklaters-tied Allen & Gledhill and Andersen Legal member Rajah & Tann have all reduced bonuses. The cuts are believed to extend to almost all the joint venture partners of UK and US firms.
A senior partner at one joint venture firm said: “The top law firms got together and discussed the matter. We rea-ched a consensus on bonuses which reflected the economic reality in Singapore.”
Bonuses last year were around 10 months salary for associates between one and three years-qualified, but some have been slashed to around a third of this.
Singapore lawyers blame the state of the Asian economy. Some have been forced to cut fees to keep hold of valued institutional clients.
Shearman & Sterling made associate layoffs in Singapore last year, and accountants and investment banks struggling elsewhere have also made cuts in Singapore and across Asia.