Business of Law

Early announcement of big year-end bonuses stuns Simpson Thacher associates

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It isn’t yet the season in which major law firms traditionally announce end-of-year salary supplements for their hardworking junior lawyers.

So associates at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett were stunned Friday by an early announcement of big bonuses, Above the Law reports.

The announcement also establishes a benchmark that associates at other BigLaw firms will now be hoping to see their firms meet or exceed, the article notes.

New associates at Simpson Thacher will get a prorated $15,000, and the bonus range for other associates is $15,000 to $100,000, according to an internal law firm memo announcing the extra pay.

That compares to a range of $10,000 to $60,000 at the firm last year.

“We recognize that you have been working incredibly hard and have all contributed to the firm’s extraordinary success this year,” says William R. Dougherty, who chairs Simpson’s executive committee, in the memo. “On behalf of the Firm, thank you for your continued dedication and professionalism.”

Last year, perennial bonus leader Cravath Swaine & Moore announced a bonus range of $10,000 to $60,000 in mid-December, which was then matched by a number of other BigLaw firms.

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