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November 28, 2011 4:35 PM

Cravath, First Out of the Gate, Announces Bonuses on Par with 2010

Posted by Julie Triedman

Let the stampede begin: Cravath, Swaine & Moore will be giving its associates year-end bonuses in line with those it doled out in November 2010, according to a memo released to associates on Monday and obtained by The American Lawyer.

According to the Cravath memo, associates at the firm are in line for the following bonuses:

$7,500 to the Class of 2010

$10,000 to the Class of 2009

$15,000 to the Class of 2008

$20,000 to the Class of 2007

$25,000 to the Class of 2006

$30,000 to the Class of 2005

$37,500 to the Class of 2004

The bonuses being awarded to seventh-year associates are $2,500 greater than last year's—a reflection of the slightly larger bonuses given to seventh-year associates at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Sullivan & Cromwell in 2010.

For the junior classes, the scale has remained much the same since 2009, when firms generally cut the payments significantly from bubble-era highs. Payments at the low end were cut in 2009 from $17,500 to $7,500.

As in past years, Cravath was the first large law firm to announce annual bonuses. If previous years are any indication, other Wall Street firms are likely to announce in the next few days that they are awarding extra compensation at a similar, if not identical, scale.

The bonuses will be paid on Friday, December 9, according to the memo. To be eligible, an associate must still be at the firm as of that date.

Cravath notes in the memo that it "does not apply any billable hour or similar criteria in determining eligibility for associate bonuses. As always, while receipt of the bonus for each individual attorney is dependent on suitable performance at that attorney’s experience level, virtually all of our associates will receive the full bonus." Part-timers will get a prorated amount based on their class year, and senior and other categories of attorneys will get bonuses on an individual basis, the memo notes. 

Cravath corporate managing partner Scott Barshay, contacted by The Am Law Daily, declined to comment on the memo. 

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