Management at miserly firms are aghast at the news
"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.