Davis Polk Shows They’re on Top With Generous Year-End Bonuses

Davis Polk Shows They're on Top With Generous Year-End Bonuses

Davis Polk and Wardwell, LLP just published their compensation numbers for 2015, and it’s clear that this Biglaw firm isn’t messing around when it comes to rewarding its employees. According to the firm’s pay plan, associates receive four guaranteed bonuses throughout the year — and what those bonuses look like will vary depending on how well the firm did in certain areas. The most recent report shows Davis Polk gave out $15 million in bonuses, not including special awards and the biggest one yet of all — year-end bonuses — which are determined by partners and have an average value of $20,000.

*Davis Polk Smash New Records

There’s no question that Davis Polk has been having a phenomenal year. The firm reported its best year ever, exceeding last year’s record of the largest number of partner promotions in one fiscal year and the most partners since 2011. Yesterday, they announced another new record: Year-end bonuses will exceed the firm’s targeted $215k per lawyer by over $14k! What’s more,

they announced special bonuses for female associates ($1,000) and individuals who relocated to NYC from out of state ($2,500). We hope these increased benefits will help offset some of the challenges associates have faced over the past few years due to market dynamics, said Simon Carter, chairman, and CEO of Davis Polk & Wardwell.

*Special Bonus for Outstanding Work

For its standout performers, Davis Polk offers a special bonus called the Supreme Outstanding Work Bonus. This award recognizes law clerks who had particularly noteworthy work performance during the year, according to a company announcement. Selected lawyers are eligible for the award if they demonstrate outstanding contributions to the firm and produce work that is of exceptional quality, adds a Davis Polk spokesperson.

Each Supreme Outstanding Work Bonus recipient will receive $50,000 from Davis Polk in addition to their regular bonuses for 2018, said spokesman Chris Friedlander.

*Additional Bonus for Attorneys in Underrepresented Groups

In light of Davis Polk’s performance, we are thrilled to announce a new diversity bonus that will be awarded as follows:

*A $5,000 bonus for all associates in our New York Office

*A $2,500 bonus for all non-partner attorneys who were born or raised in an underrepresented group (African American, Latino/a, Native American, or Asian) and live in the United States

*A $1,250 bonus for all non-partner attorneys who were born or raised in an underrepresented group (African American, Latino/a, Native American, or Asian) and live outside the United States.

*Seasonal Post Holiday Bonus

This is just the latest example of how Davis Polk continues to set the bar when it comes to rewarding its partners. But they didn’t stop there! We were thrilled to see that many people across the firm were given special bonuses this holiday season, with some receiving as much as an additional $20,000! Needless to say, it’s been a very happy day around here today.

*The night before last was our semi-annual Associates cocktail reception where we were joined by members of the Senior Partners Group (SPG) and other VIPs from around the firm in Manhattan. It was another chance for us all to catch up on what’s been going on over the past six months and share our plans for 2017.

*Special Spousal/Partner Bonus For Associates and Counselors

In a recent, yet surprising move Davis Polk just announced the offer of special bonuses to certain staff members. The special bonuses have been specifically designed for staff in those who are employed in Compensation Groups 1, 2, and 3.

These are not just any salary grades, these are compensation levels that employees in these groups make up to $480,000 per year. In essence, this includes every Associate as well as all Counselors or Counselor Supervisors.

This reward will be given to anyone who has remained with the firm for at least five years.

*A Unique Non-Midlevel Practice Group Support Associate Bonus

It’s no secret that Davis Polk has dominated bonuses in the Biglaw world. We’ve seen all the records broken by them. But Davis takes it a step further this year. Not only did they beat out their record, but they also topped bonuses at all of the other top law firms that have been following their lead

(Latham, Kirkland, Cravath). This is another major accomplishment for a firm that has received many industry awards. One thing remains clear: Davis Polk is looking to stay strong and stay atop the bonus rankings with these bonuses this year.

The News Creates Excitement Throughout The Firm

The buzz from the Davis Polk announcement has now fully reverberated throughout the firm, and employees are still talking about the bonuses. For many attorneys, this is not only an unexpected financial boost but also a statement of gratitude for all their hard work.

‘The efforts our team made paid off,’ one lawyer commented, who is looking forward to using her bonus to start saving for her child’s college education. Now that Davis Polk has announced their bonuses for 2016, employees are wondering what it will mean for 2017. Will other firms try to catch up? Or will Davis Polk continue their dominance by besting other firms once again?

I think we can all agree that this is an awesome year-end bonus. This is exciting news, not only because it’s our biggest yet, but also because it rewards excellent work by partners and associates alike. – Laurie Fox, Head of HR at Davis Polk & Wardwell

For the second year in a row, Davis Polk has shown they are the top dog when it comes to year-end bonuses. In 2017, the firm smashed its 2016 record with a 23% increase in median bonuses for both partners and associates alike. This is exciting news not only because it’s our biggest yet, but also because it rewards excellent work by partners and associates alike.

In addition to this generous bump in median bonuses, there will be several special one-time mini-bonuses for people who have exceeded expectations and made special contributions to our client engagements this year. Laurie Fox, Head of HR at Davis Polk & Wardwell said these additions were designed to recognize exceptional work that’s so crucial for us today given how competitive the legal environment is around us

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