Associate Salaries, Biglaw, Bonuses, Hogan & Hartson, Lovells, Money

Nationwide Salary Thaw: Hogan Lovells Loves Its Associates

The prior reports of additional payments to some associates at Hogan Lovells, designed to reward these associates for making their billable-hours targets, were accurate — at least with respect to the New York office. And it turns out that these payments constitute what in ATL-speak we call “true-up payments” — i.e., payments designed to give associates the pay they would have received had a salary freeze never occurred and they had received the customary annual raise for seniority.

This may sound confusing, but it’s really not. Let’s take a look at the memo from Hogan Lovells….

The original documents are posted in full at the end of this post. The memo, sent to New York associates from co-CEOs Warren Gorrell and David Harris, explains everything quite clearly in the first two paragraphs:

And what about salary levels for next year? The memo states that “base compensation levels for 2011 will be determined at the end of this year,” but hopefully adds that “[t]he firm currently expects that those associates who are meeting the firm’s quality of performance and minimum billable hour expectations in 2011 will be paid on the pre-freeze salary scale that was in effect at the end of 2008.”

Yay! That’s good news.

Of course, even with respect to good news, you can always find something to complain about. First, the policy applies just to New York (as far as we know; the memo we received is addressed to “New York Office Associates”). Second, it leaves the Lovells lawyers in limbo. From a commenter on our last post:

The crap part is that you have to be “on target with hours” for the true-up payment. However, no one will tell the Lovells people what that means, given that we’ve moved from a UK fiscal year (ending May 1) to a US fiscal year (ending Oct. 30). Very frustrating.

However, it’s good that the Ho Love combined mgmt realizes that they have to pay their associates market or a whole lot more will be heading to the door asap. Now about those bonuses….

So what about those bonuses? Stay tuned. It’s still a few months away, but the 2010 bonus season will be intriguing — an indicator of the direction the law business in heading in.

Thanks to the readers who sent us the Hogan Lovells memorandum and charts (see below; you can click on the charts to enlarge). If you have any other compensation-related memo that we haven’t posted, whether for Hogan Lovells or any other firm, please email it to us (subject line: “[Firm Name] compensation memo”). Thanks.

HOGAN LOVELLS — MEMORANDUM — 2010 ASSOCIATE COMPENSATION (NEW YORK)

HOGAN LOVELLS — CHARTS — 2010 ASSOCIATE COMPENSATION (NEW YORK)

Earlier: Nationwide Salary Thaw: Happy Happenings at Hogan?
Hogan & Hartson: Bonus and Salaries for the New Year

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