Associate Bonus Watch 2010

Associate Bonus Watch: Weil Believes That ‘Market’ = Cravath

As we just mentioned, Sullivan & Cromwell has not yet announced its bonuses. It seems that several other top law firms are keeping their powder dry until S&C fires.

But Weil Gotshal, which previously committed itself to “compensating Associates at market rates” and paying “2010 bonuses that are commensurate with bonuses paid by peer firms,” apparently believes that the “market rate” has been set — by Cravath.

Check out their latest memo, which also (1) confirms that Weil associates will get their customary seniority-based base salary increases in January (no surprise there), and (2) contains numbers for the “Distinguished” bonuses awarded to high-performing midlevel and senior associates….

The memo below was sent out yesterday to all U.S. associates, by executive partner Barry Wolf (on behalf of the Management Committee). The bonus table indicates that Weil will be paying on the Cravath scale.

The “Distinguished” bonus amounts to an extra $10,000 (or $15,000 for the most senior class). (That number in the right-hand column is what “Distinguished” associates get instead of the regular bonus; it is not paid on top of the regular bonus.)

It’s a nice bit of extra cash, but remember that this is the last year of the program. As WGM announced last month, “starting in 2011, there will no longer be a Distinguished bonus, which is a bonus in excess of bonuses paid by peer firms.”

WEIL GOTSHAL & MANGES — MEMORANDUM — ASSOCIATE MERIT BONUSES & 2011 BASE COMPENSATION

From: Wolf, Barry
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010
To: US Associates
Subject: Associate Merit Bonuses & 2011 Base Compensation

To: All US Associates

From: Management Committee

Re: Associate Merit Bonuses & 2011 Base Compensation

The Management Committee is pleased to announce our 2010 U.S. Associate bonus payments. On behalf of Weil partners, we thank you for your hard work and dedication over the past year.

Bonuses will be paid on December 23, 2010. Associates receiving an “overall strong” rating will receive 2010 bonus compensation that is commensurate with compensation paid by other major firms. U.S. associates receiving a “distinguished” bonus will be paid above those amounts. Additionally, 2011 base salary increases will be reflected in the January 14th deposit, retroactive to January 1.

**All compensation will be subject to customary pro-rations.

Barry M. Wolf
Executive Partner
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Weil Will Match

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