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Weil Gotshal & Manges Announce Bonus Increase

 

The bonuses originally set up by Weil, which was announced on Monday, ended at $37,500 for lawyers hired in 2003. Other veteran lawyers would be given their bonuses on a case basis.  Ever since Weil announced its bonuses, firms such as Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP have handed out bonuses of $42,500 to their associates who were hired in 2003.

“In order to provide U.S. associate compensation commensurate with that paid at our peer firms, the management committee has decided to increase the overall strong bonus for the class of 2003 and more senior to $42,500,” Weil said to lawyers in the United States via an office memo.

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As a response to other law firms topping the year-end bonuses that Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP announced they would hand out, the firm said it will bump the bonuses for its associates with eights years’ experience and higher to $42,500, according to La360.

“As we have done in the past, Akin Gump is matching the market bonus in [New York],” Akin Gump firm spokeswoman Kathryn Holmes Johnston said in a statement Wednesday. “For all other domestic offices, Akin Gump is awarding merit bonuses that will be determined in January and paid Feb. 15, 2012. A determination regarding spring bonuses will be made in 2012.”

The firm also announced that the bonuses will still be paid on December 23. Weil is just another firm to announce bonuses of $42,500. Clifford Chance LLP announced their bonuses of $42,500 on Wednesday of this week.

Some experts in the field feel that the bonuses handed out by Weil Gotshal do not meet the firm’s increase in revenue this year. Instead, the bonuses sit at or near the ones handed out by the firm in 2010. The bonuses will be paid to associates on December 23. Also in the memo, the 2012 base salaries will take effect on the 13th of January but will be retroactive to January 1. The memo also told associates that the bonuses will be subject to any pro-rations that are customary in the firm. The bottom tier for bonuses, associates hired in 2010, is worth $7,500.

The bonus scale sent in a memo to the associates of Weil Gotshal pretty much matches the bonus scale set by the firm of Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP last month. Their bonus scale almost directly matches the one they issued in 2010 to their associates. Ever since Cravath announced its bonuses, law firms have matched their bonus scale, while other firms have gone well above the scale set forth by Cravath.

Experts believe that more and more law firms across the country will be announcing their year-end bonuses within the coming week, especially as we creep closer towards 2012. The majority of law firm year-end bonuses issued this year have matched the Cravath scale but some of the more recent ones have gone past the Cravath scale.

Information researched from Above the Law.

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