First it was Cooley, then Davis Polk & Wardwell, and now, Milbank and boutique Hueston Hennigan: The annual associate bonus war is heating up, pandemic or not, driven by a still red-hot talent market and the uneven financial impacts of 2020 so far.

On Tuesday, Davis Polk set the scale when they announced special “fall bonuses” for their associates. U.S. associates who started at the firm in 2013 will receive $40,000. Newer associates will receive progressively less, with those who started in the fall of 2019 eligible for $7,500 bonuses.

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