This Week's BigLaw Bonus News

by Vault Law Editors | March 11, 2011

  • My Vault

This Week’s Law Firm Bonus News:

Clifford Chance: Clifford Chance announced yesterday that it will pay spring bonuses on the Cravath scale.

McDermott Will & Emery: McDermott Will & Emery announced bonuses this week. The firm’s bonuses are merit-based, and the firm did not release a bonus memo. But one source told Above the Law that “McDermott essentially matched market for average billers and beat market for above average billers.” In addition, the firm “combined year-end and spring bonuses, and are paying out on March 16.”

Fish & Richardson: Fish & Richardson announced 2010 bonuses this week. The IP giant’s bonuses are merit-based, and the firm’s memo provides great detail on its bonus awards. According to the firm in its bonus memo (featured on Above the Law),

Viewed individually and on the whole, our bonuses compare very favorably with those awarded by other firms in the market, even including the “spring bonuses” being paid by some firms. Our merit-based associate bonus system is designed to reward attorneys for their unique contribution to the firm’s success. As you know, that means not all associates in each class receive a bonus and that associates in the same class may receive varying bonus amounts. Each associate’s bonus is determined individually, taking into account value provided to our clients, quality of work, firm-building contributions, overall dedication and hard work.

Below are the average bonuses for Fish & Richardson associates (according to the firm, "the 'A1' class does not include those associates who had just started with the firm in the fall," so presumably “A1” refers to the class of 2009 and so forth).

A1: $33,583
A2: $34,944
A3: $42,759
A4: $47,794
A5: $45,563
A6: $63,841
A7: $64,333

When compared to Cravath's 2010 bonus scale and spring bonus scale, Fish & Richardson's numbers look pretty generous.

Above the Law post on Clifford Chance’s spring bonuses
Above the Law post on McDermott’s bonuses
Above the Law post on Fish & Richardson’s bonuses

Read More:
Cravath One-Ups Sullivan with Higher Spring Bonuses for Mid-Level & Senior Associates
Two BigLaw Firms are Showing the Bonus Money: Sullivan and Latham Pay Up

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