US bonuses announced to general disappointment
09 December 2011
As the year-end bonus figures from US Biglaw firms slowly drip out, lawyers hoping for fat wads of cash may be disappointed that there has been little increase on last year's figures.
Cravath was first out of the blocks and announced bonuses almost identical to 2010 figures. A first year Cravath associate will receive a relatively meagre $7.5k (£4.8k) in the Christmas pay packet, whilst at the more senior end, a class of 2004 / 7PQE associate will pocket $37.5k (£22k). Which is "only" $2.5k up on last year.
Here's the breakdown, bonus fans:
It may be to the strains of the world's smallest violins but associates
aren't too happy with their bonuses. And perhaps with reason. Above the Law
points out that a first year's bonus equates to 0.23% of PEP, whereas
back in happier 2007 times it was 1.36%. And that's despite the fact
that Cravath's financials are pretty rosy, with partners pocketing $3.17m (£2m) in 2010, which is substantially up on 2009's figure of $2.7m (£1.7m).
And it seems that Cravath sets the standard: Skadden
, Millbank Tweed and Proskauer have all announced bonuses mirroring Cravath's figures, according to Edwards Gibson
. And it's expected that other major firms will follow suit, although Boies Schiller which has an eat-what-you-kill (rather than lockstep) system is thought to be paying first year bonuses that are hitting $65k.
Despite the generally lacklustre figures, associates can always hope that firms will decide to stump up spring bonuses again, which were pretty generous in 2011
||A US associate yesterday |