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Sullivan & Cromwell is giving its first-year associates a year end bonus of $35,000 — more than double what it gave to last year’s newcomers. This means their total pay package at the end of the year will rise from $125,000 to $160,000. It is anticipated that the firm’s planned year-end bonus for second-year lawyers, who currently receive $135,000, will be even larger. Sullivan’s announcement comes hot on the heels of its recent success in topping the list of U.S. legal advisers on worldwide merger deals. The firm, which boasts 550 lawyers and 11 offices worldwide, completed 111 deals totaling $753.8 billion. Colin Potter, a newly appointed finance partner at White & Case from Clifford Chance, says, “Firms are doing what they can to keep their good lawyers but so many firms are experiencing massive hemorrhaging of lawyers.” On White & Case’s payment policy, he says, “We keep ourselves competitive but money is not always the answer. We try to ensure we do what we can in terms of making people’s working lives bearable.” “It will be interesting to see what happens with the pure U.S. firms who are paying their London lawyers U.S. rates,” he adds.

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