New York trio rewards staff with a boom year payment

Three US firms have decided to pay their associates and counsel a special “boom-year bonus”.

The three New York – based firms – Sullivan & Cromwell, White & Case and Millbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy – will pay bonuses ranging from US$8,000 to $20,000.

At the moment Sullivan & Cromwell is the only one of the three to reward its London-based associates. The firm's managing partner, William Plapinger, said the 30-lawyer London office associates would get a special bonus on top of their normal salaries.

The bonus will vary between $8,000 for first-year qualifieds to $20,000 for senior associates.

Plapinger said: “It will be paid in recognition of the extraordinary demands our practice has made on them over the year.”

White & Case is limiting its $10,000 bonus payment to its New York associates. A spokeswoman said they were being rewarded for the extra effort they had made for the firm over the year. There was a possibility that the scheme could be extended to London-based associates, she added.

John Bellhouse, White & Case executive partner in London, said the London-based associates would get a year-end bonus “reflecting the efforts of the office and the individual”.

See City Lawyer comment “No such thing as easy money” on page 12.