It’s a good time to be an associate at boutiques founded by women who made their names at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
New York-based Kaplan Hecker & Fink and Washington, D.C.’s Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz will both offer bonuses that exceed the Cravath, Swaine & Moore scale. Roberta Kaplan left Paul Weiss after 25 years to launch the former firm in 2017, while Beth Wilkinson and Alexandra Walsh formed their firm in 2016.
Above the Law first reported Tuesday that Kaplan Hecker would pay bonuses ranging from $25,000 to $130,000. That exceeds the scale stretching from $15,000 to $100,000 that Cravath announced on Monday, a formula that was quickly matched by Paul Weiss.
“Clients come to Kaplan Hecker & Fink with their toughest legal challenges because of our exceptionally talented team of attorneys and staff,” managing partner Julie Fink said Tuesday. “Rewarding our colleagues for their great work, and sharing in the firm’s financial success, is a core value of the firm.”
Later on Tuesday, a source familiar with compensation at Wilkinson Walsh said the firm would pay 150 percent of the Cravath scale, as it did in 2017. That will again result in bonuses ranging from $22,500 to $150,000.
Wilkinson told The American Lawyer that her firm was “continuing our tradition of paying all of our associates far above the Cravath bonus scale.”
The Kaplan Hecker bonuses will be paid on Dec. 21. In the last year, the firm rebranded from Kaplan & Co. after Kaplan—who successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act—brought aboard former Debevoise & Plimpton white-collar partner Sean Hecker.
Senior associate Alexander Rodney also joined the firm in the last year, enticed by its record of professional excellence and shared values.
“It is not just that we share a commitment to pursuing public-interest litigation alongside the highest-quality representation in commercial and white-collar matters,” Rodney said. “It is also that we seek to inflect the best aspects of old-fashioned professionalism with the most cutting-edge innovation and that we are collectively committed to cultivating a professional life that is personally enriching—where everyone is valued, everyone matters, and we each share meaningfully in the successes our culture has produced.”