Associate Bonus Watch 2010, Associate Bonus Watch 2011, Biglaw, Bonuses, Money

Associate Bonus Watch: Cahill Gives Out ‘Mid-Year’ Bonuses

All right everybody, be cool, no need to break out the Drudge siren.

Yes, Cahill Gordon, which previously smashed the year-end associate bonus market back in December, has just announced “mid-year” bonuses. But this announcement is unlikely to start a trend. Remember, because Cahill’s bonuses were already so high, the firm did not announce spring bonuses. Spring bonuses really amounted to a bunch of other law firms trying to catch up with Cahill.

So today’s mid-year announcement is kind of just Cahill’s version of spring bonuses. And Cahill did mid-year bonuses last year. Am Law reports that associates will be getting between $5,000 and $25,000 bonus dollars from Cahill.

Wait a minute, what am I talking about? Of COURSE this is huge news! A bunch of associates just got a bonus from the partners for all their hard work… and right when the summer associates were around to see it. Somebody is making it rain up in here….

Here’s Am Law’s report on Cahill’s generosity:

The New York-based law firm, which last year broke away from large firm market rates for bonuses, on Thursday informed associates they would be receiving mid-year bonuses of $5,000 to $25,000, according to a source familiar with the situation. The bonus exceeds a similar mid-year bonus announced last year, and follows a record year for the Wall Street firm.

Jonathan Schaffzin, a member of Cahill’s executive committee, declined to comment on the bonus numbers. “We continue to appreciate the extraordinary efforts of our associates and we’ll continue to provide compensation commensurate to those efforts,” he said, speaking generally.

Last year, Cahill’s mid-year bonus ranged up to $15,000. So, this would be more. Our sources report that it’s $5K to first years and then an extra $5K per class year, so it would seem like 5th years and above are getting the full $25K. Nice.

Here’s an honest question: In light of spring bonuses and whatnot, how should we count this? Should we say that, at the top end, senior Cahill associates received a $60,000 bonus this year? Because if you add up the $35K Cahill pushed out at the end of the year and the $25K they’re giving now, you end up with $60K. And we have been counting other firms’ spring bonuses together with their end-of-the-year bonuses.

Or should we separate it out and say that Cahill paid what it paid in 2010 (including last year’s mid-year bonus), and this latest mid-year bonus should be counted with whatever bonus Cahill pays at the end of this year?

I ask because at some point, I’m probably going to say something like “Cahill associates are KILLING Cravath associates when it comes time to make money.” And when I say that, the pissed-off Cravath commenters will be objecting to however I’ve added it up. So I want to get some kind of standard in place now. I’ve got no dog in this race… my mid-year bonus was Staci and a jelly bean dispenser. So you guys tell me how we should be adding this up.

Oh, and congratulations to Cahill associates.

For Second Straight Year, Cahill Awards Mid-Year Bonuses [Am Law Daily]

Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Cahill Gordon DESTROYS the Cravath Bonus
Associate Bonus Watch: Cahill Gordon Gives Out Mid-Year Bonuses

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