Associate Bonus Watch 2010, Biglaw, Bonuses, Money

Associate Bonus Watch: Simpson Thacher Matches Cravath

And another one bites the dust. Simpson Thacher just announced associate bonuses, and they’re using the Cravath scale.

Here is one source’s concise communication: “Simpson Thacher bonus memo just released — matching Cravath. A**holes.” Says a second: “I feel like I got punched in the gut.” From a third: “People here are livid. Can’t believe they announced a month later than normal and matched. What BS.”

Another top firm matching Cravath? Honestly, it doesn’t sound shocking.

But the Simpson match might be slightly more newsworthy than the recent Cravath matches by Davis Polk, Cleary, and Debevoise. Here’s why….

Simpson can, on occasion, be a market leader on associate compensation. Remember that it was Simpson, almost three four years ago — on January 22, 2007 — that raised starting salaries to $160,000 (and created the Biglaw salary scale — 160/170/185/210/230/250/265 — that’s still widely used today).

The Simpson pay raise spread like wildfire, first throughout New York, and then around the rest of the country. If you’re enjoying a salary on the $160K scale right now, you have STB to thank.

So Simpson isn’t always a follower; it has demonstrated leadership in the past. But not today.

Earlier: Breaking: Simpson Thacher Raises Associate Base Salaries!!!
Associate Bonus Watch 2010

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