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Magic Circle Firm Enters The Special Bonus Fray

The special fall bonuses are still making their way through Biglaw. It may be taking a little longer than the insta-matches we’ve seen in compensation before, but the COVID-19 appreciation bonuses are still gaining steam. And a Magic Circle firm just joined in.

Yesterday, Freshfields announced that they’d be giving out special appreciation bonuses to associates on October 15th. The firm noted that money will not trade off with year-end bonuses, and they expected to be competitive with the market for those end-of-the-year bonuses. They’re matching the scale set earlier by Davis Polk, meaning associates will see between $7,500 and $40,000, depending on class year, as follows:

Sources at the firm describe the mood as excited, and as one tipster said it demonstrates the firm’s commitment to the U.S. market:

I think the mood is very positive around this, given Freshfields’ continued commitment to the US and recent expansion. People are glad to see the leadership putting their money where their mouths are and being an early-adopter of this trend (especially given the number of recent laterals, from Cleary in particular).

You can read the firm’s full announcement on the next page.

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headshotKathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).