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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom said Wednesday it would increase its associate salaries to $160,000, following in the footsteps of New York-based Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Skadden is the first law firm with a major D.C. presence to up the ante for associate pay in Washington. The firm has 263 lawyers in the District. D.C.-based Hogan & Hartson has also announced it is moving associate salaries in its New York office to $160,000, but it doesn’t plan to do the same in Washington as of yet. Skadden’s decision comes after Simpson Thacher’s announcement Jan. 22 that it was raising first-year associate salaries to $160,000. Within hours, a wave of New York firms, including Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Sullivan & Cromwell; and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, matched the increase for first-years. As of January 2006, Skadden’s base salary in Washington was $140,000 for first-years, with a $15,000 bonus to junior associates. The market standard for first- year associates in the District was $135,000�up from $125,000 in 2005. A number of other New York-based law firms are reported to have raised salaries in their D.C. offices to $160,000, as well. But Skadden is significant because it has the eighth-largest associate pool in the District, according to the 2005 Legal Times 150. Simpson Thacher has just six associates in Washington. This is the second year in a row that California or New York firms have served as the catalyst for raising associate salaries in the District. Last January, D.C. firms WilmerHale, Dickstein Shapiro, and Hogan resisted boosting salaries until California-based firms Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and O’Melveny & Myers bumped up associate pay. Hogan, WilmerHale, and Dickstein currently pay first-years $135,000. “In New York we’re going to increase to $160,000 and match and make appropriate adjustments up the ladder,” says J. Warren Gorrell Jr., chairman of Hogan. “We haven’t seen any real need to do anything yet [in Washington], but of course we’re going to be competitive.” Skadden, also based in New York and known for its corporate practice, grossed $1.6 billion in 2005, according to The American Lawyer’s AmLaw 200 survey. In 2005, the firm’s profits per partner totaled $1.9 million, and its revenue per lawyer was $995,000, according to the survey. So far, most D.C. firms are staying quiet about whether or not they’ll follow. Karl Racine, managing partner of Venable’s Washington office, which pays first-year associates $135,000, says he “expects that to remain.” Nathan Carlile can be contacted at [email protected]. Anna Palmer can be contacted at [email protected]. Reporter Alexia Garamfalvi contributed to this article.

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