The law firm of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP announced that it would issue bonuses to its associates that would go as high as $52,500. The firm’s bonuses would beat the scale announced by Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP. Their maximum bonus goes up to $37,500.
The law firm, headquartered in New York, will issue the bonuses on December 29 in various amounts that do not exceed $52,500. These numbers are from a copy of the law firm’s memorandum posted on the legal blog Above the Law.
In 2010, Fried Frank released a memo announcing that it would issue bonuses that would not exceed $40,000, and that they would be issued in various amounts. The 2011 memo, similar to the 2010 memo, did not announce which associate group would receive which dollar amount.
Fried Frank announced in February that it would release spring bonuses that topped out at $20,000 in April. An internal memo sent out to associates said that the class of 2009 would receive bonuses of $7,500; the class of 2008 would receive bonuses of $10,000; the class of 2007 would receive $15,000 and the classes of 2006 and earlier would receive bonuses of $20,000.
Fried Frank delivered its spring bonuses on April 29 to its associates working in New York and Washington offices, the firm’s only two offices within the United States.
The law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP handed out bonuses for 2011 that were higher than the scale set by Cravath at the end of November. Kirkland associates who worked between 2,250 and 2,350 billable hours in 20211 said that they received more than twice the Cravath scale. Some associates with more than 2,700 billable hours worked in 2011 claim they received close to $40,000. This is four times the amount they would have received should their firm have followed the Cravath scale.
The year-end bonus announcements from Fried Frank and Kirkland & Ellis LLP came on the heels of the Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP announcement on Tuesday. Schulte Roth announced it would match the Cravath scale, though it will issue the bonuses in two installments; one at the end of December and one in March.
The law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP announced last week that the year-end bonuses going to its associates would exceed the bonus scale set by Cravath. Associates at Quinn Emanuel will receive bonuses ranging from $6,375 to $62,000. Those bonuses will be based on seniority and the number of hours worked in 2011. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Clifford Chance LLP are other law firms that have matched or topped the Cravath bonus scale for 2011.