13:06, November 29 378 0

2017-11-29 13:06:16
Magic Circle duo freeze 2017 US associate bonuses

Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy (A&O) have kept bonuses static for their US associates in 2017, with those made up in 2009 and 2010 set to receive $100,000 (£74,493).

At both firms, associates from those two years and senior associates will earn the top-end bonuses, while associates from the 2017 intake will receive up to $15,000 (£11,159).

Clifford Chance has not raised bonuses since 2013, when the top amount hit $60,000 and the bottom was $10,000 for those who joined the firm in that calendar year.

A&O’s figures have largely followed suit – this is the third known year of pay freeze for the firm.

Both firms have been focusing on competitive pay in the US, raising their salaries to $180,000 to match Cravath Swaine & Moore in 2016.

Cravath is typically the first firm to post its associate bonuses, with many top-level firms in the US matching its rates in a bid to attract top talent.

Last year, Clifford Chance followed suit as Cravath raised its pay for first year associates to $180,000 (£124,000) along with the rest of the magic circle firms.

In 2010, Clifford Chance began an overhaul of its associate bonus system as the firm sought to move away from a system which was based on the number of hours worked. Bonuses were then set at 40 per cent of base salary with those below senior associate level no longer eligible for the top bracket of bonus.