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Milbank dishes out COVID bonuses to London junior lawyers

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Associates can receive between £5,800 and £30,800, depending on experience

Junior lawyers at US outfit Milbank are to receive “special one-time bonuses” in recognition of their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hefty cash rewards — which will be distributed to associates across the US, Asia, São Paulo and London — range from $7,500 (£5,800) for 2019 qualifiers, through to $40,000 (£31,000) for 2012 qualifiers.

Associates working below 80% utilisation (inclusive of pro bono and legal work on behalf of the firm) will receive 50% of their bonus, while those swamped in recent months (over 110% utilisation) will trouser an additional 50% of their reward rate.

“Our entire firm has pulled together in response to the pandemic and the unique business challenges and opportunities that it has created,” Milbank said in an email announcing the bonuses. “In light of our success, and in appreciation of the efforts made by our lawyers, we have determined to pay our associates in the classes of 2012-2019 a special one-time bonus.”

Milbank has been approached for comment.

The 2020-21 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Milbank’s London lot aren’t short of cash. Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows newly qualified lawyers earn an eye-watering salary of $190,000 (£132,000), making them among the highest paid juniors in the City.

Milbank isn’t the first firm to dish out COVID bonuses. Fellow US firm Davis Polk has chucked the same cash bonuses at its US associates, although rewards for non-US lawyers will be determined separately, while Cooley has also coughed up extra cash in recognition of its lawyers’ efforts, including for those in its international offices.

By contrast, a number of UK-headquartered firms, including members of the elite magic circle, have cut or frozen junior lawyer pay as they look to negate the financial impact of the shutdown.

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