In an earlier round-up on spring bonus stragglers, we talked about Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis, and Quinn Emanuel. Latham and Kirkland made spring bonus announcements a short while after our post, and now Quinn Emanuel is following suit.

Actually, not “following” — depending on how hard they work, QE associates can beat the market quite handily (as defined by Cravath). Quinn’s bonus structure always has significant escalators for high billable hours, and it’s no different with spring midyear bonuses.

Associates at Quinn who hit 2000 hours will get Cravath-level midyear bonuses. Associates at Quinn who hit 2100 hours will make as much in total bonus money, regular plus midyear, as their counterparts at Cravath. Quinn associates who bill over this mark will take home even more than their Cravath counterparts.

And, ye gods, QE associates can hit some ridiculous billable hour targets if they want to make the most of their time at Quinn….

Quinn was kind enough to break down its bonus structure very clearly to their associates. The firm wants its people to know where they stand.

And where they stand relative to the market depends on how many hours they bill. That is, of course, just how they like it at QE. Here’s the relevant language from the memo:

The firm will be supplementing its previously announced June bonuses. Below you will find three tables: one restating the amounts that associates were promised as a deferred 2010 bonus payable in June (which vary by class and by 2010 billable hours, measured over the period 12/1/09-11/30/10); the second representing the amount by which we are supplementing the June bonuses, again broken down by class and billable hours; and a third chart reflecting the sum of the two, or what an associate who has been with us continuously since the beginning of 2010 will receive on June 30th (assuming, of course, that they are still in good standing).

As I noted at the end of 2010, associates who did not bill at least 2000 hours in 2010 or who are not on track to bill 2000 hours in 2011 (based on billable time during the period from 12/1/10-5/31/11) will not receive a June bonus. 1st year associates will be eligible for a $2500 June bonus if they are on track to bill 2000 hours in 2011 (measured over the same 12/1/10-5/31/11 period). Associates in the class of 2009 or more senior, who joined us during 2011, will receive a proration of the amounts listed in the second chart, entitled Supplemental June Bonuses. Finally, associates who joined us during 2010 will receive a proration of the amounts listed in the third chart, entitled Total June Bonuses.

And here are the tables:

Time for a quick recap. Back in December 2010, Quinn paid Cravath-level year-end bonuses to associates who hit 2100 hours. Associates who billed less than 2100 hours in 2010 received sub-Cravath year-end bonuses, and associates who billed more than 2400 hours got year-end bonuses that beat the Cravath scale.

Also in December 2010, Quinn Emanuel announced that it would pay supplemental bonuses in June 2011. These bonuses would equal 50 percent of an associate’s December 2010 year-end bonus.

In the intervening months, spring bonus mania swept the nation. So Quinn is now sweetening the pot and adding to the previously announced June 2011 bonuses. They’re paying June 2011 total bonuses that essentially match the Cravath spring bonus scale for associates at the 2000-hour mark. Associates at the 2100-hour mark will beat the Cracath spring bonus scale by amounts ranging from $3,750 (class of 2009) to $15,000 (class of 2003).

And then, as you can see from the tables, the June 2011 bonuses head skyward — as do the billable-hour targets. The QE bonus table even has a column for associates who bill in excess of 3000 hours. For the people without lives crazy-high billers at the 3000+ hour level, June 2011 bonuses will beat Cravath spring bonuses by amounts ranging from $13,750 (for the class of 2009) to $25,000 (for the class of 2003).

Is it worth it to bill an additional 1000 hours for this extra money? Feel free to discuss in the comments.

(At this point, one wonders why Quinn just doesn’t movie to a Boies Schiller-style compensation scheme, where associates essentially get a percentage of all the revenue they generate for the firm, down to each last marginal dollar.)

If you want to make as much money as you can at Quinn, why are you wasting time by reading this post? CHECK YOU BILLING!

Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Quinn Emanuel Pays 150 Percent of Cravath Scale — With Some Catches
Spring Bonus Stragglers: Open Thread

QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN — MEMORANDUM — JUNE BONUSES

From: Richard Schirtzer

Date: April 15, 2011

To: Associates

Cc: Partners

Subject: FW: June Bonuses

The firm will be supplementing its previously announced June bonuses. Below you will find three tables: one restating the amounts that associates were promised as a deferred 2010 bonus payable in June (which vary by class and by 2010 billable hours, measured over the period 12/1/09-11/30/10); the second representing the amount by which we are supplementing the June bonuses, again broken down by class and billable hours; and a third chart reflecting the sum of the two, or what an associate who has been with us continuously since the beginning of 2010 will receive on June 30th (assuming, of course, that they are still in good standing).

As I noted at the end of 2010, associates who did not bill at least 2000 hours in 2010 or who are not on track to bill 2000 hours in 2011 (based on billable time during the period from 12/1/10-5/31/11) will not receive a June bonus. 1st year associates will be eligible for a $2500 June bonus if they are on track to bill 2000 hours in 2011 (measured over the same 12/1/10-5/31/11 period). Associates in the class of 2009 or more senior, who joined us during 2011, will receive a proration of the amounts listed in the second chart, entitled Supplemental June Bonuses. Finally, associates who joined us during 2010 will receive a proration of the amounts listed in the third chart, entitled Total June Bonuses.

We recognize how hard everyone is working and how vital you are to the continued success of the firm. Thank you.


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