Six-figure bonus for partners of Texas law firms

To attract and retain talented business lawyers in a highly competitive Texas market, business law firms are offering six-figure vacation bonuses to their associates this year.

Several companies operating in Texas – Akin Gump, DLA Piper, Gibson Dunn, Hogan Lovells, Katten, Norton Rose Fulbright, O’Melveny, Paul Hastings, Simpson Thacher, Weil Gotshal and Willkie Farr – have announced that they are granting termination bonuses. years ranging from $ 15,000 for brand new first year associates to $ 115,000 in bonuses for eighth year lawyers.

In addition, several law firms have added “special productivity bonuses” that start at $ 4,000 and go up to $ 23,000.

But no company does more in Texas than Houston-based Susman Godfrey.

The Houston-based litigation center pays its associates bonuses ranging from $ 105,000 to $ 215,000.

Susman has had a big year in Texas. The firm represented CenterPoint Energy in a potential litigation involving the February winter storm and was hired by Live Nation to represent the concert promoter during the Astroworld tragedy last month that killed 10 people and injured dozens of people. others.

“We have exceptional associates who play a central role in delivering our great results, even in the face of the obstacles presented by a global pandemic,” said Neal Manne, co-managing partner of Susman Godfrey, in a written statement. “We are delighted to be able to reward them for their incredible work. “

Sidley, a Chicago-based law firm that has about 200 attorneys in its Texas offices, recently announced that it had started vacation bonuses at $ 20,000 for junior attorneys.

Earlier this year, business law firms in Texas and the United States increased the starting base salaries of lawyers fresh out of law school from $ 190,000 to $ 205,000 per year. Their base compensation for the coming year will increase to $ 215,000.

Lawyers in eighth grade, that is, the year before they were ready for lucrative seven-figure partnerships, are now making $ 375,000. These same lawyers also received special mid-year loyalty bonuses ranging from $ 12,000 to $ 64,000 last spring.

Together, business law firms now pay more than $ 500,000 per year to their seniors.

“We are in a highly competitive market and many law firms are desperate to attract new lawyers and retain the lawyers they have,” said Amanda Pickering of Amicus Search, who recruits lawyers for the law firms. lawyers and corporate legal services.

Pickering and others say that if law firms don’t pay the premiums, they risk losing partners to competitors.

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