weil covid bonus homeworking

A Weil associate in her new home office.

US firm Weil has boarded the Covid thank you bonus bus and awarded its London lawyers one-off payments which, RollOnFriday understands, in some cases exceed £50,000.

Paid in two lumps in June and December, the size of the awards is pegged to qualification level.

Weil's London trainees will be awarded 6% of their salary for their performance in difficult times, equating to £3k for first years and £3.3k for second years. NQs will also net 6%, which works out at £7.8k courtesy of their enormous £130,000 salaries (and they may also rise now that fellow US firm Milbank is understood to have hiked its NQ pay to $200k (£140k) this week).

The percentage increases to 8% of salary for 1PQEs, 14% for 2PQEs, and then jumps to between 17% and 19% for higher PQE bands.

A source told RollOnFriday the set-up meant that Weil's highest paid senior associates would receive over £50,000 for their unarguable fortitude toiling on the corner of their kitchen table.

It also means the firm's UK lawyers have caught up with their US counterparts, who were paid a thank you bonus earlier this year.

The size of the pandemic presents for Weil's senior solicitors dwarfs that of the bonuses offered at UK firms, which have in most cases either paid a flat rate of 5% (such as Taylor WessingAllen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters, Hogan Lovells, and Osborne Clarke - Shoosmiths gifted 7.7%), or handed out set bonuses of a thousand pounds or so, like Addleshaw Goddard, Ashurst and Bird & Bird (DLA Piper staff were offered an extra week of pay or holiday).

Weil had followed the US firms which have, in the tradition of US firms, gone large via a qualification-based scale, with Milbank, Skadden, Paul Hastings, Goodwin Procter and Akin Gump awarding London associates Covid bonuses of up to $64,000 (£46,500), although MoFo's tops out at £12,500. 

Weil declined to comment. Do let RollOnFriday know your bonus situation.

Tip Off ROF


ShootyOriginal 11 June 21 09:05

For what, exactly?

Well done for not dying?

Well done for working in the comfort of your own home?

Well done for occassionally making it into the office or, if you're a sad control freak, never changing your working pattern at all?

With the job market apparently drying up, did they really think people would stop working, or jump ship? I don't begrudge them the money, but working from home itself is like a massive bonus for me. 

£50k would be nice, though.


Anonymous 11 June 21 09:12

Depends on the area you are in. The job market is very far from drying up for US law firm employees in London. 

Anon 11 June 21 09:16

Freshfields have increased its bonuses but nothing for trainees, NQs or anyone not usually eligible for a bonus ...... inclusivity?

Anonymous 11 June 21 09:31

As a person earning not a huge amount over 50k, that bonus would make me extremely happy.

Realist 11 June 21 10:06


It's essentially "well done for not dying and surviving the biggest 18 month beasting that US law firms in the private equity space have ever encountered, not leaving your flat for 18 months, sacrificing every moment of facetime with your significant others, and driving our revenues through the roof whilst working in a tiny team with no back end support staff - all from your kitchen table". 

This is the US model, and yes, whilst the bonuses are huge, these lawyers are beasted more than you can imagine.  Most of these firms' clients are based in NY, and they have zero appreciation of the differing time zones, or of the fact that weekends/holidays even exist.  Working from home for these guys is not a luxury - it just blurs the line between working and non-working hours (which has essentially ceased to exist over the last 18 months in the world of US private equity teams). 

So yes, whilst WFH has been a luxury for some associates working cushty hours in UK firms, for the US private equity associates, it has not. 

Also, the job market in this area is hot as hell at the moment. 

So stop whining about it.  

Wayward Lawyer 11 June 21 10:26

ShootyOriginal You clearly have no idea of what goes on in US Law firms in the City. The job market has been extremely busy and firms are desperate to retain lawyers.  Also, many firms have posted spectacular results and are sharing a (tiny) bit of the wealth with the associates - what is wrong with that?

Simon Smith 11 June 21 10:36

And on the other side of the scale you have Dentons. Here, have an orange and be bloody grateful. Oh by the way, we are giving you all the boot to pay for the orange!

ShootyOriginal 11 June 21 10:41

I'm grateful for my two friends above for clarifying things for me. 

No, like many other mere mortal ROF readers, I have no idea what goes on in US firms in the UK, so was delighted to read about it.

I didn't whine, neither did I indicate that there was anything wrong with it. I merely didn't understand the reasoning, based on my own experience, but now you have provided the context.

Anon 11 June 21 11:33

Don't understand people making negative comments about bonuses being paid in law firms. It's just a transfer of wealth from owners of a firm to the employees (would they rather some minted partner kept it)?

lol 11 June 21 11:54

@shootyoriginal it was a punchy opening salvo for somebody who didn't understand the point 

K&E Associate 11 June 21 12:11

As some above have said, it is a function of serious demand for associates in certain key practice areas.

The K&E leveraged finance team is recruiting like mad at the moment, because in addition to normal deal flow being back to pre-pandemic levels there is also a lot more opportunistic refinancing and general portfolio company work on.

That creates a huge need for 2-6PQE associates, since they need less supervision on some deal tasks than NQs-1 PQEs.


Anonymoose 11 June 21 12:22


The job market for top tier associates is incredibly hot right now.  I get a couple of messages from recruiters a day at the moment.

ShootyOriginal 11 June 21 13:02

Thank you, Lol.

Yeah, I must have thought I was posting on Twitter or something.

anony252 11 June 21 13:26

Echo the above re PE teams at US firms. Beasted like never before and now I can't wait to exit private practice.

Recruitment market is white-hot. I just get LinkedIn messages with £ amounts in the subject these days...

anoymous 11 June 21 13:32

Realist @ 10.06

Boo bloody Hoo,  poor highly paid US employees who have also been saving £1000's in not travelling to the office and on other exspenses to to with working in an office

You get paid big bucks to work for a US Firm so expect to be beasted, and expect very demaning American clients.  I mean it isnt as if this is new.

No one forced you to work for them  but you like the fvcking moolah  so wind your neck in

Realist 11 June 21 15:23

@anon 13.32  I was just pointing out the points @shootyoriginal didn't understand... I don't have a problem with it - it's what you sign up for.  

Also pls fix: 



*to do with

*an office.



Pls also fix multiple double spaces which don't fall after a full stop.

Surprised you're even employed tbh.  

Warmest regards


Anonynom 13 June 21 00:13

I find it very interesting that Realist at 15:23 went with ‘demeaning’ as the adjective to describe their American clients when correcting the typographical errors. 

Instead of the far more obvious choice ‘demanding’. 



Anonymous 14 June 21 07:47

@ 15.32

If you're going to be a smart arse, at least get your corrections right.

"Demeaning" American clients, rather than "demanding"? 

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