Associate Bonus Watch 2012, Biglaw, Bonuses, Money, Tax Law

Associate Bonus Watch: Weil You Wait

We recently reported that Weil Gotshal will be paying associate bonuses for 2012 in January 2013. This was a return to the firm’s historical practice, after two years of trying out December as the payment month, but some readers attributed ulterior tax motives to the firm.

The firm just issued its bonus memo for this year, announcing its latest position on the timing of bonus payments. And Weil diverges from the Cravath 2012 bonus scale, actually….

Please note the UPDATE added after the jump.

The firm’s latest position is, well, the same as its prior position. As stated in the memo from executive partner Barry Wolf, which we’ve reprinted in full on the next page, bonuses will be paid on January 31, 2013. If you’re a highly paid Weil associate worried about going over the fiscal cliff in 2013, keep worrying.

(Or not? The latest reports suggest that maybe a deal can be reached.)

How does the Weil bonus scale differ from the Cravath bonus scale? It’s a small wrinkle: there’s no bonus for stub-year first-years, i.e., members of the class of 2012. The Cravath scale provides for a pro-rated $10,000 for these associates — which, assuming a fall arrival, amounts to about $2,500 or $3,500 each, before taxes.

Not paying a stub-year bonus seems like, well, no big deal. As a more-senior Weil associate noted of the class of 2012, “I feel like they started only about a month ago.” And note that Weil didn’t pay stub bonuses last year, either.

UPDATE (9:45 PM): Weil has decided to pay pro-rated bonuses to stub-year associates, according to the American Lawyer.

Congratulations, Weil associates, on the bonuses. The numbers might pale in comparison to the most recent bonus announcement, that of Boies Schiller, but they are still quite decent. As for the January payment date, good things come to those who wait.

(You can check out the complete Weil bonus memo on the next page.)

(hidden for your protection)

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