Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s office at 825 Eighth Avenue in New York. (Photo: Rick Kopstein/ALM)

After setting the pace for associate salary increases in 2016, Cravath, Swaine & Moore has surpassed the pay scale set last week by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.

As first noted Monday afternoon by Above the Law, Cravath has matched salaries set by Milbank for its junior associates. But for its midlevel and senior associates, the Wall Street firm has gone $5,000 and $10,000, respectively, beyond the rates set by Milbank.

Cravath’s new associate base salaries, effective as of July 1, are as follows:

  • Class of 2017 — $190,000
  • Class of 2016 — $200,000
  • Class of 2015 — $220,000
  • Class of 2014 — $255,000
  • Class of 2013 — $280,000
  • Class of 2012 — $305,000
  • Class of 2011 — $325,000
  • Class of 2010 — $340,000

The firm is also doling out special bonuses akin to those announced last week by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. These midyear bonuses will be paid out on 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

Milbank first made waves when the firm announced that it would be increasing its associate salaries across the board by $10,000 or $15,000, making the new base salary $190,000 for incoming first-year associates. Since then, Proskauer Rose, Simpson Thacher and Winston & Strawn have been among the Am Law 100 firms to match the Milbank scale, as well as high-profile litigation boutiques such as the newly formed Selendy & Gay.

But Cravath, whose gross revenue and profits per partner dipped slightly in 2017 as the storied firm’s lockstep compensation model came under scrutiny, is now the latest entrant in the seemingly never-ending associate salary race. A source familiar with firm matters confirmed its decision to increase associate salaries and bonuses.


➤➤ Related podcast: This Big Law Leader Decided to Match Milbank. Why?