According to reports on Wednesday, the law firm of Irell & Manella LLP has doubled the bonus value set forth by Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP earlier in December. Irell & Manella LLP is said to have dished out close to $75,000 to its associates.
The memo sent out to associates at Irell emphasized that the bonuses were double the ones handed out by Cravath.
The Irell firm is not the first law firm to surpass the bonus threshold set by Cravath in December. In the final month of 2011, Fried Frank Shriver & Jacobson LLP said they would top the Cravath scale as they handed out bonuses that had varying amounts reaching a cutoff of $52,500.
The 2010 class at Irell will be issued a $15,000 bonus; the 2009 class will be issued a $20,000 bonus; the 2008 class will be issued a $30,000 bonus; the 2007 class will be issued a $40,000 bonus; the 2006 class will be issued a $50,000 bonus; the 2005 class will be issued a $60,000 bonus and the 2004 class will be issued a $75,000 bonus.
There were plenty of law firms to top the scale set by Cravath in 2011 and those firms are Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Clifford Chance LLP. It was reported that Clifford Chance LLP handed out bonuses worth $42,500 for the 2003 class and older.
Also in December, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP announced that the end of year bonuses it would hand out would also exceed the Cravath pay scale. Their bonuses surpassed the Cravath ones for lawyers who dedicated billable hours over 2,100 during 2011. Bonuses from Quinn Emanuel ranged from $6,375 to $62,000 and they were based on length of time at the firm and how many hours the lawyers worked during the year.
The summer bonuses issued by Irell also went above those issued by Cravath in the spring. Irell said back in the month of July that it would issue bonuses of $27,500 to its associates, unrelated to the amount of billable hours worked.
The law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP handed out bonuses for 2011 that were higher than those issued by Cravath.
Some of the associates at Kirkland who were able to bill hours ranging from 2,250 and 2,350 hours for 2011 reported that they had been issued bonuses almost twice the amount of the Cravath pay scale. There were some associates who worked over 2,700 billable hours who claim they received close to $40,000 for a bonus. This amount would have been four times the amount handed out by Cravath.
Information researched from Above the Law.