animated siren gif animated siren gif animated siren gif drudge report.GIFWe expected this. Skadden has announced that they will discontinue the “special” bonuses from last year. Instead, they’ll be giving out the 2006/2007 standard package. From the memo, sent out by executive partner Bob Sheehan:

[W]e will pay the year-end discretionary bonus at the same levels by class seniority which associates received in 2007 and 2006. However, we do not think it is appropriate to repeat the “special” supplemental bonus that was instituted last year. That bonus reflected a strong and growing economy that contributed to a record level of profitability.

law firm associate bonus watch 2008 biglaw bonuses.jpgThe Firm has historically paid its associates at the “top of the market” in their respective local markets. While we do not know what other firms will do this year with regard to paying a supplemental bonus, we believe that our bonuses this year should be limited to the year-end discretionary bonus. What we will do in the future years, will, of course, depend on business conditions at the time and competitive compensation.

You will receive a memo early in December discussing your individual bonus. We appreciate the efforts you have all put in this year. You have contributed enormously to the success that we have achieved.

That should pretty much set the market.

The 2007 bonuses weren’t bad. And Skadden isn’t laying people off. It’ll be pretty hard to complain if this is where the market ends up.

And, not for nothing, it shows good form by Skadden for telling people what to expect before the holiday season starts. That winter vacation to the Dominican Republic can now proceed full speed ahead.

Read the full memo after the jump.


SKADDEN — MEMORANDUM — 2008 ASSOCIATE BONUS

Skadden logo.JPGFrom: Robert C. Sheehan

As the year draws to a close and given the current economic environment, we thought it was appropriate to discuss our overall results for the year and our thinking with regard to associate bonuses.

In 2008, the level of the Firm’s business continues to be relatively strong, with our total workload, until very recently, being similar to 2007, our most successful year. However, we have more attorneys to do this work, and therefore, our results aren’t as strong as they were last year.

The Firm has a long term view of the important role associates play in the success of the Firm, and, accordingly, we are not planning associate downsizing. We believe that our associates represent our future and, as a matter of fact, offers to summer associates for employment next Fall were at the same high levels as in past years. In addition, we are planning for the summer class of 2009 to be almost as large as the summer class of 2008.

As we previously discussed in meetings with many of you, our business is not concentrated in the financial services industry. However, we should not minimize the importance of our relationships in the financial world as they are a key source of referrals. More importantly, they support the activities of our corporate clients, most of whom have felt the spreading negative effects of the financial industry turmoil.

In light of the foregoing, we will pay the year-end discretionary bonus at the same levels by class seniority which associates received in 2007 and 2006. However, we do not think it is appropriate to repeat the “special” supplemental bonus that was instituted last year. That bonus reflected a strong and growing economy that contributed to a record level of profitability.

The Firm has historically paid its associates at the “top of the market” in their respective local markets. While we do not know what other firms will do this year with regard to paying a supplemental bonus, we believe that our bonuses this year should be limited to the year-end discretionary bonus. What we will do in the future years, will, of course, depend on business conditions at the time and competitive compensation.

You will receive a memo early in December discussing your individual bonus. We appreciate the efforts you have all put in this year. You have contributed enormously to the success that we have achieved.

Earlier: Open Thread: Associate Bonus Speculation

Associate Bonus Watch Warning: Outlook Bleak


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