Associate Bonus Watch 2012, Biglaw, Bonuses, Money

Associate Bonus Watch: Cadwalader and Debevoise Match Cravath

The dominoes continue to fall. This morning brings word of two additional firms matching the pleasant (but not spectacular) Cravath bonus scale. The firms in question: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Debevoise & Plimpton.

The bonus numbers aren’t a surprise, but we can make a few comments about the timing (of the announcements and of the payments), share some tipster reactions, and show you the memos.

Let’s take a look….

Cadwalader has matched Cravath, although it’s paying out quite a bit later — the first pay period in February 2013. But this is CWT’s traditional practice on bonuses, so there doesn’t seem to be any Weil-ing and gnashing of teeth from associates.

The announcement, though, is on the early side. “I’m not surprised they matched,” one CWT tipster told us, “but I’m slightly surprised we did so this fast.”

Unlike the Cadwalader bonuses, the Debevoise bonuses will be paid before the end of the year. Our sources there were also pleasantly surprised by the speed of announcement. “This qualifies as an earlier-than-normal announcement from Debevoise,” one told us.

Said a second: “I’m pleased. Biglaw compensation is generous, and drama aside, I try to remember that.”

Drama? What drama? As a third Debevoise source remarked, “And there ends the least exciting bonus season ever.”

Ah, but wait! As we previously noted, it ain’t over until Sullivan & Cromwell sings. If S&C matches Cravath, then it’s truly over.

The memos — from Chris White, chairman of Cadwalader, and Michael Blair, presiding partner of Debevoise — appear on the next page. Congrats to the Cadwalader and Debevoise associates on the news.

(hidden for your protection)

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