Over 100 large law firms increased associate salaries in 2018. Milbank set the increase in motion, Cravath, Swaine & Moore upped the ante, and others decided hiking pay was worth it to stay in the game.

Nearly a year later, data from the first quarter of 2019 suggests that the added expense pressure is beginning to catch up with many of these firms. In reports issued earlier this week, both Citi Private Bank and Thomson Reuters aggregated data from a number of firms and found that expenses, driven by lawyer compensation, grew in the mid-single digits, while demand was flat.

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