Associate Bonus Watch 2009, Bonuses, Money

Springtime for Bonuses At Sullivan & Cromwell?

Last year, while law firms were still feeling the worst of the recession, Sullivan & Cromwell provided some springtime cheer to its associates. The firm paid a spring bonus in 2009. The payment was less than the one the firm made in 2008, but still, it was extra money in 2009. At the time, we reported:

[N]ews is now trickling in about the special bonus S&C paid out late last week. Last year, the spring bonus was as much as $30,000 for eighth-year associates.

This year, sources report that eighth-year associates topped out at $8,500. For first-year associates, the spring bonus was $500.

All indications are that the legal economy is better off now than it was in 2009. Will the fledgling recovery lead to a better spring bonus for SullCrom attorneys this year?

In previous years, Sullivan & Cromwell announced its spring bonus, well, in the spring. But we’re already at summertime — Memorial Day weekend, yeah baby! — and we’re not aware of any word from S&C.

Our tipsters are starting to get nervous that there might not be any summer vacation money coming from S&C. We reached out to multiple sources, and they all said that they hadn’t heard anything internally about a forthcoming bonus.

We also asked official spokespeople for Sullivan & Cromwell, but they have not yet responded to our inquiry. All of this silence probably isn’t a good thing.

Then again, S&C was one of the only firms paying out a spring bonus. Maybe the firm is hoping to quietly kill that little initiative?

It’s a little bit strange for SullCrom to be so silent about this bonus. If the firm isn’t making the kind of money it needs in order to justify a bonus payment, that would be one thing. But that’s not the case at S&C — the firm had an excellent 2009, with profits per partner that were third-highest in the country.

And surely the firm doesn’t think that its associates have just forgotten about compensation that usually hits their bank accounts around this time of year. They’re a smart crew — that’s how they ended up at Sullivan & Cromwell.

Earlier: Sullivan & Cromwell Spring Bonus

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