Bird & Bird thanks lawyers and staff with Covid bonus

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Rewarded €1,000 for ‘hard work and extraordinary contributions’

Bird & Bird will pay its global staff a ‘thank you’ bonus in recognition of their “hard work and extraordinary contributions” during the pandemic.

The €1,000 (£870) bonus will be paid to all lawyers and staff (excluding partners) in May 2021. It will be separate from and in addition to existing performance bonus schemes in place in each of the 20 countries the international firm operates.

Aylie Ewing, chief people officer at Bird & Bird said: “The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented change as the ways in which we worked drastically altered overnight, and new models and tools were developed. I’ve been so impressed with the commitment and resilience of our people all around our global network throughout this process, and thank them all for their unwavering support.”

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David Kerr, chief executive officer at Bird & Bird, added: “My heartfelt thanks to all of our people around our network for going above and beyond to continue to deliver our clients with the best possible service throughout this challenging time.”

Bird & Bird joins a growing number of law firms thanking their staff with cash bonuses. Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells and Irwin Mitchell are all handing out a bonus between 3-5% of salary, whilst other firms have announced they will give everyone lump sums around the £1k mark.

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I’ve always respected B&B, they’re niche but good at what they do. Glad to see this is going to services staff too


Rainmaker @ Donkeyshit Pee & Wetwilly (erstwhile Davis Polk & Wardwell or DPW)

According to LC, Bird & Bird’s NQ salary is 71k.

Imagine making that when 2nd year trainees at DPW pull in 60k and 135k on qualification.

London needs to go NY style with set market rate salaries for associates. The pay difference is just appalling at this point.


Wibble Merchant

Well then apply to the firm with the higher salaries..I don’t see the issue here.


Fresher Watch

You’ve been placed on fresher watch. You have 10 minutes to get back to your contract law lecture or you risk failing the module. You’ve been warned.


Rainmaker @ Donkeyshit Pee & Wetwilly (erstwhile Davis Polk & Wardwell or DPW)

How’s Bird & Poop treatin’ ya you STEM grad with no job offers post graduation?

Couldn’t cut it in the Google or Goldman tech interviews, so you thought pulling in 50k post taxes as a lawyer was the next best option? C’mon man, just because you did physics or bioengineering at undergrad doesn’t mean you’ll become a high flying IP partner. That’s not because you’re a bad fella, it’s just IP partners aren’t very “high flying” any way. It’s a third rate practice area.

PE/LevFin is where the real lawyering takes place.

LOL ironically ain’t nothing “high flying” about a firm named 2 Birds. With your stature, you should be hanging with the likes of Fieldfisher or Burges Salmon. Pfft.


Gerald Bostock

Anyone with even a passing understanding of commercial law would recognise that there is almost no “real lawyering” in PE or LevFin, and most associate work consists of transaction management and editing precedents.



Spot on. There is a common misconception (particularly from outsiders to the profession) that earning £140k as an NQ means you are somehow proportionately more intelligent than someone else in the job market. A doctor/university academic/manager earning £70k is not half as intelligent. In fact they’re probably significantly more intelligent in many cases.

The top US firms are paying for time and willingness to do largely grunt work, particularly at the junior end.


And you have to work with some real tools. I like it when the PE team eventual come across a real legal question and the scurry to litigation for an answer.

you posted cringe bro

dude you sound triggered as fuck. and that post is 10x as long as it needed to be. just say that you’re a fresher who went to a K&E presentation and leave it at that.


Old Guy

No one at Bird & Bird cares about this because the areas they specialise in are different from the US firms. So this whole lower salaries spiel doesn’t work in this instance. Should be focused more on Clifford Chance or Linklaters who promise top tier corporate/banking work but pay 60% of what the US firms pay in the same areas.



B&B’s ‘nice’ image overshadows it’s substandard salary.



Surely that’s the point of the “nice” image?

There’s no more point 2Birds banging on about the salary than there is K&E giving it large about how all the partners are really lovely people, it’s not their selling point.

2Birds does some niche areas really well and those niches are less lucrative but interesting, have some “cool” clients and are better suited to a more balanced lifestyle so they play on that. Fair play to them.



Don’t think working for any law firm in the city is ‘nice’ though, that’s the point. Many firms that aren’t as profitable and can’t afford to pay competitive salaries adopt the “oh but we’re a much nicer place to work” angle. It often isn’t the case, and even if there is some truth to it, doesn’t justify the low salary.



(1) 1k is lol

(2) 71k is a fine NQ salary for what it is – I’m sorry to say, but most of their lawyers are very average and they work a 9.30-6 with 1400 billable hours or thereabouts.

Comparing that to someone who trained working 14 hour days and continues to work 14 hour days with a c. 2000 billable target is silly.

I entirely understand why someone would go work there. You would never want to employ them in a US firm. From experience, they just are average lawyers. Being a good lawyer doesn’t make you a good person, in fact the opposite.



Wow, lot of salty mid tier firm trainees out in force this Friday



You are right that the hours are much better at 2birds but having trained there and gone to Goodwin, US firms do want niche talent wherever they can find



US firms take what they can get when they have a business need.

Point I was making was not intended to insult anyone, and I appreciate it came across as cavalier and actually rude.

On balance, US firms are very different in all respects to mid tier firms. It is better to retain their own NQs than recruit junior laterals with more experience but little relevant experience, and in the process paying 60k recruitment fees and an additional 30k on salary and bonus. The experience differential between a US NQ and lateral U.K. 2PQE evens out between 6 months to 1 year. Even if the US firm loses an internally trained 1-2PQE, it’s better to source a replacement from the trainee intake, (cultural benefits to doing so too) or alternatively sourcing an alternative 2PQE from e.g Skadden. If they fail for a US firm recruit, someone from Lovells or Herbies is an adequate replacement too.

When US firms take from a mid tier, and it happens, usually indicative of a poor team, no rep in the market, desperation, and no one else in market, together with poor culture of not taking from its own trainees. The mid tier ends up integrating and lasting 2-3 years on average before moving on.

This is not an attempt to attack or support either US or other firms. I appreciate some commentators are at U.K. firms wanting pay to rise and here I am saying Bird pays OK for what is demanded of its lawyers, and by all accounts is a good place to work. It is not attempt to belittle you.


you posted cringe volume 2

second cringe post from a wannabe US trainee fresher in one thread… what’s up with you lot? exams? focus on your grades?


Immodium Gang

I look forward to seeing those top top lawyers from Debevoise and Akin Pump outclass those average Birds lawyers on patent litigation.



Is this sarcastic? Because you will find that the same calibre of QC goes up against each other in these disputes. So the same first class Oxford chemistry grads will be competing. Not like the firms are going head to head in the court and doing the advocacy themselves.



And yet those Birds lawyers are getting on the tube to their rented flats in Zone 6. Apparently there is a Zone 6.



To all the haters, many of whom will be law students sitting in a zone 5 bedsit, money does not equal happiness. Wait until you get into the real world before writing off £71k as a ‘bad salary’. Big money comes with even bigger sacrifice that is not for everyone, or even most people.



71k is a salary is not something to be in the real world fresher!

Bloody hell the disillusioned entitlement is baffling..I blame tik tok



1000€ bonuses but I hear all annual raises have been cancelled… Hooray


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