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 Wessing, Allen & 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.