When Cravath, Swaine & Moore moves, New York’s Holwell Shuster & Goldberg isn’t far behind.
That was the case in June, when Holwell Shuster promptly matched Cravath’s new associate salary scale, which itself topped Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy’s compensation bump for midlevel and senior associates. And it was the case Monday, when the commercial litigation boutique said it would match Cravath’s newly announced bonus scale for 2018.
Senior associates will earn an additional $100,000, while those who started this year will earn a prorated slice of $15,000. The bonuses will be paid before Dec. 31.
“2018 was a great year for the firm as we continued to deliver top notch legal services to our clients, achieve impressive victories on their behalf and add remarkably talented attorneys to our bench,” name partners Richard Holwell, Michael Shuster and Daniel Goldberg said in a letter to its associates. “You are all a big part of what makes the firm’s successes possible and why HSG is a very special place to practice law.”
Holwell, a former federal judge in the Southern District of New York, founded the firm in 2012 alongside former White & Case colleagues Shuster, Goldberg and Dorit Ungar Black.
Cravath has accelerated the industry’s usual bonus timetable with its Monday reveal, just three days before Thanksgiving. It’s a week earlier than the firm’s bonus announcements in the last two years.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison promptly followed suit, with its own announcement of equivalent bonuses later on Monday.
Now all eyes are on other boutiques, including Hueston Hennigan and Irell & Manella in Southern California; Chicago-based Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg; and New York’s Selendy & Gay. These boutiques were all quick to join Holwell Shuster in matching the new Cravath salary scale in June.
In an entirely separate category is Susman Godfrey, which has smashed the Cravath scale for both associate salaries and bonuses in recent years.