Companies in sectors shaken by the coronavirus tapped new
legal or compliance leaders this week, including a hire by one
of the pandemic's earliest and severest economic casualties:
With the fourth quarter fast approaching, Wachtell, Lipton,
Rosen & Katz has passed Latham & Watkins to once again become
the top U.S. M&A adviser based on transaction value for 2020,
after advising biotech company Immunomedics Inc on its agreement
to be acquired by Gilead Sciences Inc for $21 billion.
For associates choosing between Big Law firms before 2020,
compensation was predictable - few firms dared to opt out of
accepted market salary and bonus rates, making factors like
culture stand out more, said Michelle Fivel, a partner at legal
recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa.
Milbank is giving associates a "special one-time bonus" to
reward their hard work in the face of the pandemic's many
challenges, the firm said, matching a bonus scale announced
earlier this week by Davis Polk & Wardwell and raising it for
The average U.S. law firm billed 11% less in August 2020
than in August 2019, following a large drop in new matters
creation in July, according to a Wednesday report from legal
tech company Clio.
Thousands of U.S. law firm staffers have lost their jobs
since March, when the coronavirus shuttered offices nationwide.
More cuts are likely on the way - Winston & Strawn confirmed
layoffs this week. And with technology making lawyers less
reliant on support staff, some of those let go may never work in
the industry again.
The D.C. Court of Appeals said Tuesday that due to the
coronavirus pandemic it may grant some law school graduates
so-called diploma privilege, which would let them skip the bar
exam and still become licensed to practice law.
When Davis Polk & Wardwell eased its pure lockstep pay
system last week, some saw a sign that the already shrinking
practice of paying law firm partners based on seniority might
soon disappear. A Tuesday report from Major, Lindsey & Africa
also highlighted the decline, with just 8% of Big Law partners
surveyed saying their firm considers seniority to be "very
important" in determining pay.
Squire Patton Boggs said Tuesday that it is easing its
pandemic-era austerity measures, pledging to end pay cuts for
associates next month.
The average pay for Big Law partners jumped 38% between 2010
and 2018, according to a report released Tuesday by legal
recruitment firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. But those gains aren't
spread equally, with growth notably lagging for women and Black