That’s the latest rumor. We’re checking with our Paul Weiss sources (and waiting for a memo). Update (1:12 PM): This is looking pretty solid. No memo yet, and one of our Paul Weiss sources reports not hearing anything yet. But two other Paul Weiss sources confirm that the firm has matched. One of the two confirming sources explains why our first source might not have heard anything:
They have a junior partner on each floor come around and tell you, to make it “more personal.”
So this might explain why associates are getting the news at different times. It all depends upon when your particular junior partner gets around to dropping by your office. Update (3:28 PM): Officially CONFIRMED, by Madelaine Miller, Paul Weiss’s communications manager. And we have the memo, too. Click here. Paul Weiss matches… [Infirmation / Greedy NY]
We have a dinner to attend, so we’re stepping away from the computer for a few hours.
There has been quite a bit of bonus news today, including announcements from Cravath and Cadwalader. And it’s possible that more news might emerge tonight (although we think it’s unlikely, given that it’s after the close of business on the East Coast).
But if any interesting bonus news happens to come in while we’re gone, please mention it in the comments to this post (and provide a link to your source, if any). We will investigate when we return.
And feel free to offer any other bonus-related rumors or rants. Thanks!
Consider Cadwalder CONFIRMED. We just got off the phone with Claudia Freeman, director of communications for CWT, who verified the accuracy and authenticity of the memo that we emailed to her.
In addition, in case you doubt our Cravath coverage — as well as that of the WSJ Law Blog, which reported the news shortly after we did — then we have some more proof for you.
Check out a scanned version of the original Cravath memo, after the jump.
As predicted, Cravath announced its bonus structure today. They’re paying the same bonuses as they did last year. In other words, they’re matching this year’s Milbank bonuses — except for the most senior classes, whom they’re paying $5,000 less. C’mon, Cravath partners, can’t you cough up another $5K for your most senior drones?
Here are the numbers, from a source within Cravath:
2006 — $30,000 (pro-rated)
2005 — $35,000
2004 — $40,000
2003 — $45,000
2002 — $50,000
2001 — $55,000
2000 — $60,000
1999 — $60,000 Update (4:30 PM): The WSJ Law Blog has also reported on Cravath’s 2006 bonuses. The firm declined comment.
In addition, rumor has it that Cadwalader has announced and matched Milbank. Update (5:07 PM): Cadwalader is CONFIRMED. Details here.
We reprint the purported verified CWT bonus memo, as well as the Cravath bonus memo, after the jump.
That’s the latest rumor over at Infirmation/Greedy NY. As for numbers, they are said to be the same as last year’s Cravath bonuses. Caveat: This is UNCONFIRMED. If you can confirm or have a memo, please email us (tips AT abovethelaw DOT com). We’re contacting our own Cravath sources and will get back to you shortly. Update (11:16 AM): According to multiple Cravath sources, there has been no announcement yet. But one is expected VERY SOON:
We think there will be an announcement tonight. Rumor is that Cravath will not top, only match.
We’re away from the internet for a few hours — to attend a friend’s art opening, followed by drinks and dinner — and lo and behold, the first big bonus announcement comes in.
That’s what we get for stepping away from our computer on a Friday night. We had a feeling that today might be the day.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who brought the news to our attention. With apologies for the ridiculous and inexcusable delay — go ahead, rank on us, we deserve it — here’s the (real) Milbank Tweed bonus memo:
MEMORANDUM TO ASSOCIATES
In The Classes of 2006 – 1998
The Firm is very pleased to announce that we will again be paying special year-end bonuses this year to all associates in the classes of 2006 to 1998. Bonuses will be paid on or before January 16, 2007 to associates who are in good standing and actively employed with us on the date the bonuses are paid. Bonuses will be prorated to reflect 2006 start dates, part-time schedules and unpaid leaves of absence. Bonuses will range between $30,000 and $65,000 depending on class year as follows (and will be paid in local currency equivalents where appropriate at the then current exchange rate):
Class of 2006 – $30,000
Class of 2005 – $35,000
Class of 2004 – $40,000
Class of 2003 – $45,000
Class of 2002 – $50,000
Class of 2001 – $55,000
Class of 2000 – $60,000
Class of 1999 – $65,000
Class of 1998 – $65,000
The Firm sincerely thanks you for your many contributions and extends best wishes for a very happy and healthy holiday season.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The memorandum’s authenticity has been confirmed to us by multiple sources. Furthermore, Milbank chairman Mel Immergut even made on-the-record comments about the firm’s bonuses to the WSJ Law Blog.
So this is news you can take to the bank. Happy Holidays, Milbank Tweed associates! Milbank’s Bonus…The Real Deal [Infirmation/Greedy NY] Memorandum to Associates [AutoAdmit.com] Get Ready to Celebrate — Bonus News Is In [WSJ Law Blog] Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: The Milbank Memo Is Fake Associate Bonus Watch: The Milbank Memo Is REALLY Fake Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)
Once again, no news. But something might happen today, if the first mover tries to lowball the market. Friday afternoons are the optimal time for breaking bad news.
We never tire of saying this: As soon as you learn of a bonus announcement, even if completely uncorroborated, please email us. We will then go investigate.
This is true even if the bonus announcement is just something you see on a message board. We check the message boards regularly; but when it comes to big bonus news, the faster word gets out, the better. Don’t worry about sending us a duplicative message. We’d rather receive lots of emails with the same tip than be even half an hour late in reporting a key announcement.
In the meantime, as everyone frets, it’s important to maintain a sense of perspective. Earlier this week, we reminded you Biglaw associates that things could be worse. An in-house lawyer in the Midwest is overjoyed just to get a second microwave in his break room. So be grateful for your bonus, even if it’s not as large as you expected.
But if you don’t find that persuasive, let’s approach the issue from the other side: Why are you getting so worked up over your bonuses? They’re piddling!
If you want to talk about serious cash, consider what Wall Street CEOs are expected to receive as bonuses this year. Or if that’s too grandiose a comparison — after all, they’re CEOs of huge multinational corporations — check out the reported bonuses going to some four dozen Goldman Sachs employees.
We feel your pain. We wish we found finance fascinating too. Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)
Still no news. The message boards are quiet (aside from complaints about the “trolls,” and admonitions not to “feed” them).
At this point in time, we’re guessing that no major bonus news will break this week. But we’re happy to be proven wrong. As soon as you hear something, please email us.
Last night, a fake Willkie Farr bonus memo was making the rounds (just like the fake Milbank Tweed bonus memo). We posted the memo quickly, in the interest of timeliness, but papered it up and down with disclaimers: unconfirmed, not verified, do not rely, etc. An hour or two later, after conferring with our Willkie sources, we came back and declared it to be fake. Somefolks were annoyed that we posted the fake memo to begin with. So we’d like to explain how we operate around here, by quoting from two reader comments. Comment 1:
ATL posts them immediately because these things are time-sensitive. No one should rely on this info before it gets confirmed, but the easiest way to confirm it is to get it out to a wide audience quickly and let it be debunked. I for one don’t care whether it’s initially accurate or not, I just appreciate the effort to shed light on one of the many mysterious aspects of big firm life — compensation.
The blogosphere way of doing things is to publish stuff ASAP, then to correct or modify as the story develops. The mainstream media way of doing things is to hold a story – sometimes for a long time – until it’s all confirmed. It is not surprising that ATL takes the blogosphere approach.
Also, when ATL originally posted the memo, there were boldface, all-caps disclaimers all over the post. You’d have to be a moron to rely upon anything posted with all those caveats.
So this is how we’re going to operate around here. We’ll put up purported “bonus memos” ASAP, but with disclaimers, while we work on confirming and fact-checking them. But please don’t treat such memos as authentic until we append a confirmation (or remove the disclaimers).
Striking a balance between speed and accuracy is a constant struggle, in both the blogosphere and the mainstream media. This is our explanation of how we strike the balance; we hope you find it helpful. Thanks for reading. Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)
The fake bonus announcement memos really aren’t that funny, people. Everybody gets all worked up for an hour or two, and then the ruse is exposed.
The purported Willkie Farr bonus memo, which surfaced earlier tonight, is not authentic. From one of our sources at Willkie:
This is clearly a fake. FYI, Willkie never sends out bonus memos this early in December, and in any event, it wouldn’t come from Matt Feldman, who is a bankruptcy partner. It would come from someone like Jack Nusbaum (chairman) or Thomas Cerabino (a high-ranking partner on the Executive Committee).
This was confirmed by a second Willkie source, who reported receiving no such memo.
We have sources at pretty much all the top firms. It doesn’t take us very long to contact them for confirmation (or denial). We also have no qualms about contacting the supposed senders of these memos, whether they’re HR people or Biglaw partners, for verification and comment.
So please stop wasting your time — and ours. Thank you. Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Willkie’s Bonus Memo??? Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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