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June 16, 2011 1:02 PM

For Second Straight Year, Cahill Awards Mid-Year Bonuses

Posted by Nate Raymond

Cahill, Gordon & Reindel has done it again.

The New York-based law firm, which last year broke away from large-firm market rates for bonuses, on Thursday informed associates they would be receiving mid-year bonuses of $5,000 to $25,000, according to a source familiar with the situation. The bonus exceeds a similar mid-year bonus announced last year, and follows a record year for the Wall Street firm.

Jonathan Schaffzin, a member of Cahill's executive committee, declined to comment on the bonus numbers. "We continue to appreciate the extraordinary efforts of our associates, and we'll continue to provide compensation commensurate to those efforts," he said, speaking generally.

Associates have kept busy on deal work and litigation this past year, as Cahill saw a boom in leveraged finance and other areas in 2010. The resurgence pushed the firm back onto The Am Law 100 after a two-year absence. The firm's gross revenue climbed 20 percent to a record $323.6 million in 2010, while average profits per partner jumped 27 percent to an all-time high of $3.23 million.

Cahill partners have looked to share their largesse with the associates. This summer's mid-year bonus tops a previous off-cycle award made in July 2010 that ranged from $2,500 to $15,000, depending on an associate's class year. In December, Cahill told associates it would match the $7,500 to $35,000 bonus scale first announced by Cravath, Swaine & Moore and adopted by several New York firms, but also awarded a separate $10,000 to $25,000 bonus on top of that.

The Cahill mid-year bonuses will likely draw comparisons to ones made earlier this year by other New York firms including Sullivan & Cromwell, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, and Cravath. Those awards ranged from $2,500 to $20,000. But Schaffzin, speaking generally, said "any decisions we make are made to be competitive but based upon our own situation and without regards to actions other firms may take."

These latest bonuses will no doubt help the firm attract associates as it prepares for the on-campus recruiting season set to begin in August. Cahill has been in a growth mode lately. It had 273 lawyers on average in 2010, while today a spokeswoman said it has around 290. The firm, not typically an active participant in the market for lateral partners, last month brought in leveraged finance partner Jennifer Ezring from Latham & Watkins in a move that chairman William Hartnett said in a statement "complements our growing finance practice."

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