Hogan Lovells latest to thank lawyers with Covid bonuses

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UK associates and staff to receive extra 5% of salary

Hogan Lovells joins a growing number of law firms thanking lawyers and staff for their lockdown endeavours with ‘Covid bonuses’.

The international firm is taking a regional approach to its bonus payments which are “in order to thank everybody at the firm for their contribution during such a challenging time”.

All lawyers (besides partners) and business services staff in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific are to receive a one-off discretionary payment of 5% of their salary in June. This is in addition to their usual annual salary and bonus reviews.

“As we continue to operate under very challenging conditions, we want to thank our people for their hard work and dedication in delivering for our clients during these difficult times,” said Hogan Lovells CEO Miguel Zaldivar. “This has been an extraordinary time and everyone across the firm has pulled together to help us deliver a strong business performance. This has enabled us to be able to acknowledge their hard work and commitment.”

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Business services staff, including paralegals and PAs, in the firm’s Mexico and Brazil offices will also receive a one-off discretionary payment of 5% of their salary, as will lawyers, except this will be based on performance and a minimum hours requirement.

As for bonuses for associates based in the US, they will be awarded cash sums ranging from $12,000 to $64,000 (£8,700 to £46,600) based on performance, seniority, and a reduced minimum hours requirement of 1,850. The bonuses will be paid in two parts, in June and November 2021. Business services staff in the US will receive a Covid bonus of $1,000 (£730).

The announcement follows other City law firms thanking their staff with cash bonuses. Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Herbert Smith Freehills are all handing out a bonus of 5% of salary, whilst other firms have announced they will give everyone lump sums around the £1k mark.

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Actually K&E senior paralegal




Wonga. Wonga. Wonga. The City is back. Long live our freedoms and liberties. Once again cash is king.



1850 target hours. Bye-bye social life, bye-bye life. Slaving for a pittance.


Kirkland 4 life

Bang average firm for bang average graduates. Absolutely nothing to see here



Ouch someone’s still bitter about a vac scheme rejection


observer innit

“As for bonuses for associates based in the US, they will be awarded cash sums ranging from $12,000 to $64,000 (£8,700 to £46,600) based on performance, seniority, and a reduced minimum hours requirement of 1,850”

Hilarious isn’t it: to an average onlooker you work for the same firm, but in reality some Chad fresh out of a US law school (i.e. with a fraction of the experience of a UK 1 or 2PQE) will be pocketing phat bonus stacks along with a starting salary of US$190,000, while you, the impoverished English peon, will be left holding the bag. What’s more, you’ll likely end up getting staffed on the same deals, sweating out the same hours.

Gotta love these trans-Atlantic firms, top value.


who uses the word 'Chad' in 2021

A pretty terrible observation.

A first year US associate will have much more tuition debt than their UK counterpart, even if they went to a low-tuition college as an undergraduate. US law schools are tremendouly expensive, especially the good ones. The US associate is unlikely to have gotten any discount for law school as they haven’t gone into public interest work. The meaningful sholarships are reserved for the best of the best (think “I turned down HLS to go to Columbia to get 30% off” candidates).

Also, whereas the UK associate had the opportunity to spend 2 years as a trainee earning money and paying down their debt, the US associate hasn’t had the chance to do any of that. They’ve only been spending money on education, not earning it.

US firms are also fairly brutal places to work, esp. in NY/LA/etc, so that more than makes up for any remaining compensation gap. Every US firm associate who spent lockdown working weekends and putting in all nighters very much earned their pay.


Changed my life

uh-huh cool story brah



You do realise that on deals where your US counterparts are pulling all nighters, you’re pretty much doing the same, right? The past year has been absolutely crazy for transactional departments, lots of people are at 500-550 hours for 1Q 2021 – essentially the same as hours at US firms, but for much lower pay


Dispelling the myths

Sick of this stupid ‘argument’ .

If the ‘other side’ in a US firm is doing all nighters, that doesn’t mean that UK firm lawyers are working to the same extent. Magic circle teams are broken down into micro roles and they’ll be loads of associates, comparatively, on a matter. Then there’s just one partner and one associate on the other side in the US firm…

The hours simply aren’t the same when you compare them side by side per person.



Yawn, thx brah.

Serious Guy

Well said. Also the US is an entirely different market to the UK. As you pointed out, employment rights are not as robust as in the UK. Healthcare is private, education is private and there are lots of expenses an individual will have to incur that a UK worker doesn’t have to. £100k in the UK goes a lot further than $120kk in the US, particularly in New York and California where taxes are broadly similar to the UK taking account of State taxes.


Truth serum

This is irrelevant. You’re essentially saying the more you owe the more you should pay. I don’t see pre-2012 students being told they should be paid less as their tuition debt is (as a factor) 3 times less than a current graduate.

A UK NQ will do roughly the same amount and quality (if not of a higher standard given then have 2 years practical experience) work than a Class of 2020 associate in the US.

Firms pay different amounts because they can. Decent shops will equalise but most will try and use the arbitrage to line Partners’ pockets.


Truth serum (the original)

So you’ve just decided to copy my name because I haven’t been on here for a while. Lucky I’ve retired joker.



1850 minimum hours. Gimps, total gimps.


The Grind

Generally speaking, yes.

It is worth noting that (from my very limited experience of working across from 5 or 6 big US firms and a couple Canadian firms) the billing culture across the pond is significantly different. EVERYTHING is chargeable.

Lunch to catch up with client? Time is billable if you mention an active matter, and the lunch is a disbursement. You have depositions all day on one case, or a full day of checking engrossments on a single transaction? Well you wouldn’t of woken up and travelled from your bed if not for that one case/deal so from wake-up alarm to getting in the door at the end of the day is chargeable. Every photocopy, stamp, delivery is time AND cost charged to file. At least that’s what it has looked like so far.

Roughly 70% of my regular working day (about 9.5-10 hours in office/logged in during slow periods) is recoverable, not counting any write-offs by the partner. The associates I’ve worked across from seem to capture >95% of their days.

Plus, having worked for a little while in North America, I know it’s typical to only get 2 weeks holiday a year until your management/partner level, so there’s basically an extra month’s worth of working days over there. 1850 is still a sweaty AF target though.



1850 hours and 2 weeks holiday. Gimp supernova.


paralegalling doesn't count

do any of the commenters here actually work at a law firm? especially one that paid out phat stacks in COVID bonuses?



Slaughters should be embarrassed…

It will certainly be a sight when the associates flee. US firms aside they can’t even compete with UK firms.



This guy’s a gangster? His real name’s Clarence And Clarence lives at home with both parents.



The people who disliked this clearly haven’t watched 8 mile looool



Hello Slaughter and May HR team



Some many hours for so little pay.



12 hours billable per day, 7 days a week for a quarter.

That is 1,092 hours.


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