So it appears that Willkie Farr & Gallagher has matched market bonuses. We don’t have official confirmation or a memo yet, but we doubt that this is another fake Willkie announcement.
Matching is the default outcome right now. We doubt anyone will have the guts to raise. Most big law firms had a very good year in 2006, and they probably could afford to be more generous with bonuses. But our guess is that they’re being conservative this year, in case the economy heads south in 2007.
On the other hand, we don’t think any Biglaw shop would be stupid enough (or mean enough) to go below market. It would be a scarlet letter to wear for several recruiting seasons to come. So matching market / Milbank is the safest way to go.
One of you was kind enough to respond to our request for the Simpson Thacher bonus memo. We reprint the STB memo, after the jump.
Update (1:35 PM): The Willkie Farr memo is also available after the jump. Our thanks to commenter Wendell.
SIMPSON THACHER & BARTLETT BONUS ANNOUNCEMENT MEMO
From: Ruegger, Pete
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2006 11:18 AM
To: Associates and non-Senior Counsel
Subject: 2006 Bonuses
SIMPSON THACHER & BARTLETT LLP
MEMORANDUM TO ALL ASSOCIATES AND COUNSEL
On behalf of the partners of the Firm, I am pleased to announce that the year-end bonuses for associates in good standing will be as follows:
Class of 2006 – $30,000 (pro-rated)
Class of 2005 – $35,000
Class of 2004 – $40,000
Class of 2003 – $45,000
Class of 2002 – $50,000
Class of 2001 – $55,000
Class of 2000 – $60,000
Class of 1999 – $65,000
(and more senior)
Bonuses for counsel will be determined on an individual basis and communicated to those individuals shortly. Bonuses will be paid on December 29, 2006. Associates and counsel who were on leave or worked part-time during any part of this year will be eligible for a pro-rated bonus.
Thank you for your dedication and professionalism. On behalf of the Firm, I wish all of you and your families a happy and healthy holiday season.
Chairman, Executive Commitee
December 15, 2006
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)