Management at miserly firms are aghast at the news

Ashurst and Allen & Overy are the latest firms to pay staff an extra bonus for their hard work during the pandemic.

"We can confirm that fee earners and support staff will receive a one-off bonus in April equal to 5% of their annual salary," said a spokesman for the Magic Circle firm. "The bonus is in recognition of their hard work and contributions in very challenging circumstance over the last 12 months." The special payment is in addition to the usual performance bonus and salary reviews at the firm.

Ashurst is giving a one-off payment of at least £1,000, or the equivalent in local currency. The extra bonus will be paid in July to all the firm's staff worldwide (but not partners).

"As a result of a great team effort, we have performed well this year and we predict a relatively strong finish to the financial year," said Ashurst's global managing partner Paul Jenkins. "In recognition of that, we are increasing our bonus pool by 100%, or doubling the size of the existing bonus pool, which will include a one-off reward of at least £1000 or equivalent to staff."

Jenkins said the increased bonus pool is in recognition of the "high performance across all roles in the firm", and that staff had "made extraordinary contributions to the business, their teams and our clients during a challenging year with significant market disruption."

The announcements by A&O and Ashurst follow other City firms thanking their staff in the form of a bank balance top-up. Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills and Linklaters are also dishing out a bonus of 5% of salary, while Addleshaw Goddard is gifting a payment of £1,500 to its staff. 

Is your firm offering a Covid bonus, or keeping its wallet firmly closed? Get in touch.

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Anonymous 01 April 21 10:53

Well, that'll keep the hot tub filled with champagne for almost another full week I suppose.


Mustn't look a gift horse in the mouth and all that.

Anonymous 01 April 21 11:50

Fixed the Ashurst quote for you:

“We claim to be doubling the bonus pot (you have no way of knowing if this actually happens), we’ll pay every employee a grand out of this “doubled pot”, then usual performance-related discretionary bonuses will be paid from the now-not-quite-doubled pot, but will be completely discretionary and you won’t know what you would have got had the pot not been doubled, and your bonus certainly will not be doubled.”

Anonymous 01 April 21 12:17

Ashurst “bonus” sounds rather fishy

- Not being paid out of the normal pay review cycle

- Double what? 

- Minimum 1k sounds great for support staff that would not normally get a bonus but not really music to the ears of any lawyer who would expect more than 1k in the ordinary course

Sounds like some smoke and mirrors to distract from not matching the 5% of salary approach of many others 


Recent leaver, SPB Manchester 02 April 21 18:42

Could be worse: SPB management are such greedy turbo*****s they not only don’t give a toss about any covid bonuses, but they also haven’t yet paid back the money they took from staff last year, hiding behind pathetic excuses and bluster.

Tight-fisted behaviour worthy of a shambolic provincial bucketshop, not a major law firm.

JM 02 April 21 21:32

Ashurst cut staff pay by 20% for 3 months and have not paid that amount back so this 1k is hilarious and doesn't even come close to making up the salary reduction. 

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