In a postcript to our detailed post speculating about the future direction of the spring bonus phenomenon, we noted “an isolated report of one firm on the S&C spring bonus scale going back and raising to the Cravath scale,” but said we required additional corroboration.
We now have the requisite confirmation. On Tuesday, Simpson Thacher — which was the first firm to match the Sullivan & Cromwell spring bonuses, and therefore crucial in helping the S&C bonuses spread to other firms — announced that it would adopt the Cravath spring bonus scale (which is even higher than S&C’s).
Let’s go back to our listing of which firms have announced spring bonuses at which levels. Now that STB has raised to Cravath levels, only Sullivan & Cromwell and Cleary Gottlieb remain on the lower scale.
What will happen next?
What’s odd, though, is that it hasn’t happened already. The Cravath scale has been around for almost three weeks (since January 31). Why is it taking so long for S&C to respond?
Could it be that S&C, which got the spring bonus ball rolling among the big New York lockstep firms, feels miffed that Cravath has stolen its thunder? Could S&C be cooking up a new strategy to reclaim the spotlight — perhaps a revised spring bonus scale, even higher than Cravath’s?
Unlikely. The spring bonuses — on top of the 2010 year-end bonuses, on top of the six-figure base salaries, in an economy with 9 percent unemployment — are more than generous. But a girl can dream, can’t she?
Stay tuned. And, as always, please send us spring bonus updates, by email or by text (646-820-8477). Thanks.
Earlier: Springtime Bonus Watch 2011