Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Los Angeles-Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is raising first-year salaries to $135,000 for its associates in Washington and other locales, a move that will likely drive salaries up at top-tier firms across the nation. A few smaller firms, such as Los Angles’ Irell & Manella, boosted first-year salaries to $135,000 earlier this year. But Gibson Dunn is the first major California-based firm to make the move, and experts expect it will force other large firms to hike salaries that have largely been frozen since the technology boom fizzled. “All firms that consider themselves to be among Gibson Dunn’s peer group will be forced to follow to $135 [thousand],” said consultant Richard Gary. “I am convinced of it. There is no way they can afford to stay at 125.” Gibson Dunn is raising first-year salaries by $10,000 and other classes’ salaries by $5,000 for its non-New York lawyers, according to several sources within the firm. That would lift fourth-year base pay to $170,000 and seventh-year pay to $210,000. Officials at the firm declined to comment publicly. The move also follows raises to $135,000 for starting associates at intellectual property boutiques, including Washington’s Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner and New York’s Kenyon & Kenyon. That left Gibson Dunn, which has a substantial IP practice, paying below the top of the market. Watching the competition Other firms, which are currently in the process of evaluating associate compensation, acknowledge that they pay close attention to the competition, though no one has said for sure whether they’ll raise the numbers. “We look at many factors, including what’s happening in general in the market,” said John Sherrell, chairman of Latham & Watkins’ associate committee. “One of the factors you always look at is the market, and if we find our compensation is trailing, we look at it in a lot of detail: where we are and where we want to be. O’Melveny & Myers is continuing to study the market, said Los Angeles managing partner Seth Aronson: “We continue to strive to be competitive in the market.” Though news of Gibson Dunn’s raise has been appearing on associate Internet message boards for the past week, the firm has made no formal announcements, inside or out of the firm. Apparently associates have been told of raises during their individual evaluations. Gary said the firm could be keeping quiet in hopes of retaining the competitive advantage that a $135,000 starting salary will give Gibson, especially since it’s the time of year when firms evaluate associate compensation, Gary said. Or it is possible that Gibson is just shying away from the limelight. “Who wants to be the market leader in associate salaries?” Gary said. “Perhaps Gibson doesn’t want to be out there in the forefront.” When Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges of Los Angeles quickly matched Irell & Manella’s hike earlier this year, trying to keep the news quiet wasn’t an issue, said William Urquhart. With the Internet, he said, everyone finds out about everything pretty quickly anyway. Urquhart said he expects that Gibson Dunn’s recent news might affect the overall market more than his firm’s decision. “I suspect that it will create more of a ripple than it did when we raised ours because our competition is a different group of firms,” he said, pointing out that associates looking at Gibson Dunn are often looking at other firms such as O’Melveny and Latham.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.