Yesterday, reports came in that Chadbourne & Parke unfroze salaries. Then tipsters started telling us that Chadbourne didn’t just thaw out one class year; instead, they went all out and gave true-up raises — putting their associates back to the salary level they would have been at had the firm never frozen salaries in the first place. True-up raises are even more significant at Chadbourne because the firm didn’t just freeze salaries, it actually cut salaries back in April.
By the end of the day, Chadbourne sources were telling us that in addition to the true-up raises the firm was giving out make-whole bonuses. Essentially, Chadbourne was giving people back the money they would have made over the course of 2009. That’s a move out of the Latham playbook (in a good way). One tipster put it like this:
[J]ust got my letter re: (1) bonus, and (2) 2010 salary and (3) true-up (actually got the letter last Friday, the 22nd). I am glad to say that I got unfrozen with a “true” true-up! The firm could not tell me if all associates were treated the same.
As we understand it, this good news was shared with nearly all Chadbourne & Parke associates.
Details and a statement from the firm, after the jump.
Above the Law talked with a spokesperson for Chadbourne & Parke. Apparently, all associates in good standing received the true-up raise and bonus:
The firm announced earlier this month, not last fall, that our associate salaries this year would generally be returning to market levels ($160K, $170K, $185K, etc.). The firm announced on September 29th that we would pay back to eligible associates in the form of a bonus an amount equal to their base salary reductions in place since May 1, 2009.
The only criteria for eligibility to received this salary reduction bonus is employment in good standing on February 15th, 2010, when the payment is to be made.
A merit bonus will also be paid to eligible associates and will generally be up to $7,500 to $30,000, depending upon the year.
Associates who have made exceptional contributions during 2009 will receive additional amounts.
The “merit bonus” is an important part of this scheme. The make whole bonus is on top of the Cravath scale bonus.
This is all very good news for Chadbourne associates. As one tipster put it:
I’m so happy. I’M SO HAPPY!
Congratulations, Chadbourne friends.
Earlier: Salary Cut Watch: Chadbourne & Parke Takes a Stab at Salaries