Law Firms

Quinn Emanuel creates 'associate longevity bonus pool'

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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is enticing its associates to stay with the firm with an “associate longevity bonus pool.”

Not everyone will qualify for the supplemental bonuses, which are tied to law firm profits, report Above the Law, which was first with the news, and the Am Law Daily (sub. req.)

Only second- through sixth-year associates are eligible. They have to bill 2,000 client hours in a year to maintain eligibility. They can’t collect for three years and there is no pro rata vesting.

A law firm memo explains with this example: “A qualifying second-year associate for 2017 will get a provisional award in March 2018. That award will be paid in March 2021 as long as the associate is still with the firm at that time. The same associate will be eligible to receive an award in March 2019. That award would be paid in 2022. The same associate would also be eligible for an award in March 2020 which would be payable in March 2023, and so on until the associate’s seventh year at which point the associate is no longer eligible for new awards but can keep collecting old awards as long as the associate does not resign before an award is due to be paid.”

This year, the firm is donating 1 percent of profits to the plan.

Quinn Emanuel’s New York managing partner spoke with the Am Law Daily about the plan, which he helped craft.

“We wanted to make a statement to the people that come in with us and spend their careers with us,” Peter Calamari said. “We have always been a pretty creative firm when it comes to associate compensation and work conditions. Things occur to us that will make our associates happy, and we implement them.”

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