Associate Bonus Watch 2011, Biglaw, Bonuses, Money

Associate Bonus Watch: Cadwalader Matches S&C Bonus Scale

It’s beginning to look a lot like last year’s Christmas at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. CWT announced yesterday that it would be matching the Sullivan & Cromwell bonus scale. It starts at $7,500 for the class of 2010 and tops out at $42,500 for the class of 2003 and more senior. All bonuses will be paid in early February 2012.

But what about spring bonuses? And is Cadwalader planning to show any love for the class of 2011?

Let’s take a look at the memo and find out….

Although there is no mention of a spring bonus, it seems that CWT is offering a prorated bonus to those who joined the firm before October 1, 2011. Tipsters in the class of 2011, does that mean you’re getting a piece of the bonus pie? And unlike Weil Gotshal, which discontinued its “distinguished bonus” program, Cadwalader may be offering bigger bonus dollars to associates who displayed “extraordinary performance” this year.

News of the Cadwalader bonus scale was sent out yesterday via firm-wide email from firm chairman Christopher White. Here’s the full CWT memo.


From: White, Christopher
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 12:58 PM
Subject: 2011 Bonuses

2011 Bonuses

The Management Committee is pleased to announce the 2011 bonus awards for Counsel, Special Counsel and Associates. Consistent with the Firm’s Bonus Policy, all individual bonus awards will be determined after consideration of each attorney’s overall performance including meeting the Firm’s standard of excellence and teamwork, and the attorney’s contributions to areas important to the enhancement of the Firm’s culture and reputation. Awards in addition to the amounts set forth below may be made for extraordinary performance. We encourage you to review the Bonus Policy set forth in the Attorney Manual, a copy of which is accessible on the intranet.

If an attorney satisfies the bonus criteria set forth in the Bonus Policy, then the attorney will be eligible for a bonus as follows:

Class of 2010: $7,500
Class of 2009: $10,000
Class of 2008: $15,000
Class of 2007: $20,000
Class of 2006: $25,000
Class of 2005: $30,000
Class of 2004: $37,500
Class of 2003: $42,500
and prior

Counsel, Special Counsel and Associates who joined the Firm after January 1, 2011, and before October 1, 2011, will be eligible to receive a pro rated bonus. The Management Committee anticipates paying bonuses in the first pay period in February 2012.

On behalf of the Partners, I would like to thank you for your hard work and many contributions to the Firm and our clients, and I wish you and your families a very Happy Holiday Season.

Chris White

Earlier: Prior ATL bonus coverage

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