Wigdor LLP, a prominent New York plaintiffs-side employment firm that took on several high-profile cases in the wake of #MeToo, plans to reward its associates in 2018 with year-end bonuses ranging between $70,000 and $160,000.
The firm’s range for bonuses far surpasses the market level that Cravath, Swaine & Moore set for large defense firms. In November, Cravath announced it would pay its associates year-end bonuses ranging from $15,000 to $100,000— a scale that was then matched by several other top-end firms, including Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
For Wigdor, a 13-lawyer firm with five partners, the 2018 bonuses reflect a higher amount than the firm has given in years past. Previously, its bonuses have gone up to about $100,000.
“My partners and I thought it was appropriate to share in the firm’s incredibly successful year,” Douglas Wigdor said in an email. “We have a dedicated and talented group that enables us to litigate against the most powerful and largest law firms and companies around the world.”
Wigdor’s bonuses also exceed the amounts announced by boutique firms started recently by expatriates of Am Law 100 firms, such as Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz and Kaplan Hecker & Fink, both helmed by former Paul Weiss partners. Kaplan Hecker offered bonuses of $25,000 to $130,000 to their associates, while Wilkinson Walsh offered 150 percent of the Cravath scale, a range of $22,500 to $150,000.
The new bonuses still do not match the traditional outlier—Susman Godfrey—which on Monday announced associate bonuses ranging from $110,000 to $225,000. The Texas-based firm is known for far surpassing a variety of industry standards.
Selendy & Gay, which started less than a year ago with a group that split off from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, also went with 150 percent of the Cravath scale. But that firm also added a special, one-time bonus as a recognition for associates coming on board during the firm’s first year.
Wigdor’s bonus scale comes after a busy stretch for the employment firm, which in May secured a $10 million settlement on behalf of current and former employees at 21st Century Fox who alleged race and gender discrimination at Fox News.
The firm has also garnered recent attention for other prominent sex discrimination cases, including one in which it represents Lauren Bonner, an associate director at Point72 Asset Management LP, the investment firm founded by hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen. Bonner, who’s been vocal about gender pay inequality even outside of the lawsuit, alleges that Point72 and its leaders have paid women less than male counterparts and have fostered a “boy’s club” environment at the investment firm.