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.
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.