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At the close of 2004, the resurgence of the US M&A market was confirmed when New York’s legal elite unveiled a 70% rise in year-end bonuses to push associates’ total annual remuneration to $155,000 (£80,610).

Within context, the increases – from $17,500 (£9,101) to $30,000 (£15,602) – cannot be underestimated, given the gloom Manhattan emanated from 2000 until late 2003.

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