Lawyer Pay

More firms, including Cravath, jump on BigLaw bonus bandwagon; Skadden says some will get $110K

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At least three more BigLaw firms have jumped on the year-end associate bonus bandwagon.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Proskauer Rose; and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have all announced in internal memos that they will follow the same $15,000 to $100,000 range as at least four other major law firms, reported Above the Law in a Monday post and two separate posts Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon.

However, Skadden has upped the ante a bit farther, saying it its memo that the firm would adjust bonuses for its most senior associates based on performance, with some at the top of the scale getting $110,000.

For those in the class of 2007 and earlier “distinctions will be based upon individual excellence, including quality of work, intensity of effort, depth of experience and firm citizenship,” wrote executive partner Eric Friedman in the Skadden memo.

“While most of our associates in classes 2007 and senior will receive a bonus of $100,000, individual bonus amounts (which may be higher or lower) will be determined in the next two weeks applying the above criteria,” he continued. “Some associates in those classes will receive a bonus of $110,000 in recognition of extraordinary performance and intensity of effort. Payment will only be made to associates employed by the firm on December 19th.”

The bonus season kicked off last week with an announcement by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett that set the benchmark for this year’s bonuses.

Three other firms almost immediately matched. So, including Cravath, Proskauer and Skadden, at least seven BigLaw firms have OK’d the new bonus schedule so far.

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