Simpson Thacher & Bartlett told associates Wednesday that it was raising associates salaries—matching the scale set by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy this week—while also giving associates a summer bonus, according to an internal firm memo obtained from a source.
While a trickle has begun of other large law firms matching Milbank’s scale, including Proskauer Rose and Winston & Strawn, Simpson Thacher is the most profitable law firm to make the market move so far.
Last year, profits per equity partner at Simpson Thacher rose 5 percent to $3.68 million, and gross revenue rose 5.7 percent to $1.38 billion.
According to Wednesday’s memo, first- through third-year associates will receive $10,000 pay raises, with starting associate pay at $190,000, and fourth- through eighth-year associates will receive $15,000 raises. The increases will be effective July 1.
On top of the pay raises, associates “in good standing” will also receive midyear bonuses—not a regular occurrence at Simpson Thacher or most large firms. The last time Simpson Thacher paid a midyear bonus to associates was in 2011, according to a source familiar with the firm.
Through the summer bonuses, Simpson Thacher’s associates now have a competitive advantage over their peers at other market-moving firms.
“You are working incredibly hard, and we want to recognize your contribution to the firm’s success. Thank you for your hard work and professionalism,” said chairman Bill Dougherty in the memo.
Here’s a look at the midyear bonuses, to be paid June 29:
- Class of 2017 — $5,000
- Class of 2016 — $7,500
- Class of 2015 — $10,000
- Class of 2014 — $15,000
- Class of 2013 — $20,000
- Class of 2012 — $25,000
- Class of 2011 — $25,000
- Class of 2010 — $25,000
Dougherty’s memo said English law-qualified associates in the firm’s London office receiving Sterling-based salaries will receive proportionate salary increases, while summer associate salaries will also be increased to match the first-year salary.
Simpson Thacher’s raises come on top of the firm’s announcement this week that it was partnering with Columbia Business School to launch a training program for new fall associates.