Biglaw, Bonuses, Money

Associate Bonus Watch: Davis Polk

The white-shoe firm of Davis Polk might have been displaced by Paul Weiss as home of the hottest attorneys, but there’s still much to recommend DPW. As you can see from its ATL Career Center profile, it gets high grades both from the lawyers who work there and in terms of industry reputation.

You know what would make Davis Polk an even more appealing workplace? Above-market bonuses….

Alas, that’s not in the cards. Sources report that Davis Polk has matched the Cravath scale.

That’s consistent with tradition, and DPW is a traditional firm. But we’ve written before about how the firm, under the leadership of managing partner Tom Reid, is becoming more entrepreneurial and taking more chances (e.g., by hiring lateral partners, previously a rarity at Davis).

If Davis Polk really wants to shake things up, it should beat the Cravath bonus scale next year. That would generate tons of positive buzz outside the firm and lots of excitement within 450 Lexington Avenue. It would send an unmistakable message that DPW, not content to rest on its laurels, is ready to compete — for talent, for clients, and for bragging rights. And given Davis’s stature, its peer firms — Cravath, Sullivan & Cromwell, Simpson Thacher, Cleary Gottlieb, etc. — would all have to match the Davis scale.

It didn’t happen this year, but maybe it will happen next year. Fill your hot cup with cocoa and drink to everyone matching the Davis Polk bonus scale in 2014.

Earlier: Bow Before New York’s Sexiest Biglaw Firm
Associate Bonus Watch (2012): Davis Polk and MoFo (New York)
Nationwide Layoff Watch: Even the Buyouts Are Beautiful at Davis Polk

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