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First-year Associates at Simpson Thacher will make $160,000

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has raised the salaries of its first-year associates by $15,000 which now adds up to an astounding $160,000. This is Simpson's third increase since 2000 - the firm offered $125,000 for five years and increased its salary less than a year ago to $145,000, which was the set trend then.

Second-year associates will now make $170,000, while third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-years' will make $185,000, $210,000, $230,000, $250,000, $265,000, and $280,000, respectively. Ninth-year associates will receive $290,000 and those with more than nine years of experience will be assessed on an individual level. Bonuses are likely to range from $30,000 to $65,000 depending on the class of associates.

2006 saw a trend of increases in associate salaries at the top U.S. firms. Sullivan & Cromwell started the first round of salary hikes in February last year and other firms joined the bandwagon. New York-based Simpson Thacher has again started the ball rolling. Industry experts expect top-tier firms like O'Melveny and Myers, Gibson Dunn, and Latham & Watkins to follow suit. Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, on the other hand, has already matched Simpson Thatcher's increase to $160,000, reports

This hike by Simpson is likely to create controversies with the judicial salaries. The firm has matched salaries with those of federal judges which start at $162,500 without any bonuses, while the New York's Supreme Court justices' salaries start at $136,700.

Paul Hastings' Asia offices garner strength
Prominent international law firm Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker (Paul Hastings), further expanded its corporate, real estate, and employment law practices in Asia with the addition of Jacqueline Lim, partner in the Hong Kong office, and Adam Kearney, of counsel in the Beijing office. Lim who joins the firm as a corporate partner practices in corporate finance, including mergers & acquisitions and equity capital markets. Kearney specializes in China-related M&A and private equity transactions.

Paul Hastings has more than 170 legal professionals across its offices Asia offices offering their services to a diverse clientele including many of the leading global financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies.

Apart from the two, three more partners of the firm, David Blumenfeld, David Wang, and Of Counsel K. Lesli Ligorner relocated to the Shanghai office. The trio will serve the firm's clients' in the real estate, corporate, and employment law practice areas.

Blumenfeld who earlier served the firm's Los Angeles office will partner and chair of the Shanghai Real Estate practice. He practices in real estate matters, particularly on the acquisition, disposition, financing, development, and construction of significant office, hospitality and other commercial projects for international institutional and major corporate clients. Wang will be a corporate partner in the Shanghai office and practice in all aspects of corporate and U.S. securities law, particularly in M&A, private equity and venture capital investments, as well as capital markets transactions. Ligorner will be Of Counsel in the Shanghai office and Chair of the Employment Law practice in China. She has expertise in strategic employment counseling and litigation for multinational companies.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

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