Biglaw, Bonuses, Kasowitz Benson, Money

Associate Bonus Watch: Kasowitz Associates Reap Rewards For Their Superior Legal Minds

It may be 2014, but Biglaw firms are still rolling out their 2013 year-end bonuses. While some firms are busy cutting supplemental checks for their associates, others are just getting around to making their first round of payments.

If you have any bonus news that we haven’t covered, even announcements dating back to last year, please email us or text us (646-820-8477). We’re trying to keep as accurate a record as we can of Biglaw bonuses that were announced in 2013, but we can’t do it without your help.

As for today’s bonus news, we’ve just received word that Kasowitz Benson unveiled its bonus structure yesterday afternoon. This is standard fare for the litigation powerhouse, which typically announces during the first full week of the new year. So what’s the good word on 2013’s bonuses? Did associates get more money if their legal minds were superior to all others?

No surprises here. The Kasowitz bonus memo, reprinted in full on the next page, announces bonuses for New York associates and special counsel “up to” the Cravath scale. The memo notes that the numbers on the scale “are benchmark amounts which are subject to adjustment to reflect individual performance and hours worked.” Individual bonus news will be communicated during the week of January 24.

Here’s what we heard from a tipster who’s a mid-level associate at the firm, who seems just a little bitter:

These numbers were expected, since our firm will never do anything above the accepted minimum throughout the market. That said, if you didn’t either (a) hit whatever unofficial hours requirement they have in mind this year (they never tell us), or (b) have a connection to the boss himself, you can expect a drastic cut off those benchmark numbers.

Ouch. This tipster seems to be channeling Gregory Berry himself. We sincerely hope he’s joking with regard to item (b), or else we may have to stop referring to the firm’s managing partner as “Uncle Marc.”

That’s a wrap on today’s bonus news (thus far). Again, if we missed your firm’s bonus announcement, please email us or text us (646-820-8477). Remember, we appreciate memos, so send one if you can.

(If you’re interested, the bonus memo from Marc E. Kasowitz, managing partner of Kasowitz Benson, can be found on the next page.)

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