Associate Bonus Watch 2012, Biglaw, Bonuses, Money, Partner Issues

Associate Bonus Watch: Cleary Gottlieb and Proskauer Rose Match Cravath

Congratulations to the new partners at Cleary Gottlieb and Proskauer Rose. Cleary elected eight new partners and Proskauer elected three new partners, both good-sized classes.

And congratulations to the associates at Cleary and Proskauer. They just learned that their firms will be matching the robust bonuses announced by Cravath earlier this week.

Let’s get the details — including the early payment date at Cleary, and the lovely memo from Proskauer….

We don’t have the full Cleary memo — if someone would be willing to email it to us, we’ll add it as an update to this post — but we have confirmed that Cleary has matched the Cravath bonus amounts.

In addition, Cleary is paying earlier than any other firm: December 14, a week earlier than Cravath. That’s welcome news for associates who need to come up with holiday tips for their doormen, to buy holiday gifts, or to deal with unanticipated expenses related to Hurricane Sandy (which is why we previously urged early payment of bonuses).

The Proskauer bonus news was first covered over at Am Law Daily. The Proskauer memo is a model of the form. Here’s how it closes:

This has been a very successful year for the Firm at all levels. We served our clients with distinction; worked on significant and high-profile matters; welcomed new colleagues of enormous talent; and maintained our momentum across all practice areas and offices. While we are immensely proud of our 137-year history we remain relentlessly focused on our future, which has never been brighter. On behalf of the entire partnership we thank you for your dedicated service to the Firm’s clients, the collegiality you display daily with one another and the partnership, and the vibrant and innovative spirit you bring to the Firm every day.

We wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

Isn’t that much warmer and more reflective of holiday cheer than the usual “thanks, here’s your cash”? It shows attentiveness to the finer points — just like Proskauer’s beautiful offices, which we honored in our Lawyerly Lairs Contest as the best Biglaw offices in all the land.

To read the full Proskauer memo, flip to the next page. Congratulations to the Cleary and Proskauer associates on the happy bonus news.

P.S. Of course, even though your Above the Law editors view the Cravath bonuses as relatively good news, some readers disagree. One source at a Cravath-matching firm speculated that his firm moved so quickly “to head off any attempt by Sullivan & Cromwell to change the bonus levels” (a possibility we raised here).

Cleary Gottlieb Elects Twelve New Partners and Counsel [Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton]
Proskauer Announces New Partners and Senior Counsel [Proskauer Rose]
Paul Weiss, Proskauer, Simpson, Skadden Fall in Line on Associate Bonuses [Am Law Daily]

Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch 2012
Breaking: Cravath Announces Year-End Bonuses; Let the 2012 Bonus Season Begin!

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