The latest news is that Morrison & Foerster’s New York office has matched the market bonuses. We’ve checked with our MoFo sources, and this is accurate.
So consider it CONFIRMED. Specific numbers, after the jump.
Earlier today, a reader made this comment:
“Why don’t you just call up all the firms now, instead of waiting for the rumors to appear one by one, so we can get this over with?”
Not a bad idea, given the “Chinese water torture” aspect to tracking bonuses. The only rub is that not all firms have necessarily decided on what they’ll be paying — at least in theory. Rumor is that the Cravath memo wasn’t issued until after the Cravath partnership met. So it’s (theoretically) possible that some firm might pay out above-market bonuses.
But as a practical matter, yes, it’s true: Everybody is probably just going to match market.
In light of all the parallel conduct, maybe there’s an antitrust issue here. But whether you can even get discovery on it depends upon the ruling in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, currently pending in the Supreme Court.
Is “Associate Bonus Watch” less suspenseful than a Hitchcock film? Yes. Is the bonus-tracking game effectively over? Pretty much.
But ABW has been great for our traffic. And who knows, maybe there will be a surprise or two. So we’ll keep following the “news,” even if it consists of every other firm falling into line, until all the top Biglaw shops have announced.
We have it on very, very good authority that Sullivan & Cromwell has issued associate bonuses that match the market. So consider the rumor from earlier today to be verified.
The only caveat from our source: at the most senior levels, the S&C bonuses do not “top out,” like those at Cravath. As explained by this Greedy NY post:
[A]t S&C there can be a high degree of variability at the highest associate levels, particularly (from what I’ve heard) for those who are told, “you didn’t make it this year, but we hope you’ll stick around and try again.”
But this is just a footnote, relevant only to the most senior of associates. The upshot is that S&C has matched.
So the fat lady has probably sung. At this point, it’s unlikely that anyone will go above market. If any firm was going to top the market, S&C was a good candidate. From a different Sullivan source, who opined yesterday:
I highly doubt we’ll be doubling [as ridiculously rumored by Ritalin Edge]. But I think the general feeling (despite our salary raise) is that there will be mutiny if they match last year’s bonuses. This is especially true given Goldman’s record year and our record M&A year.
Mutiny? Sullivan & Cromwell associates, sharpen those pitchforks. It’s time to storm the barricades at 125 Broad Street. Update: Actually, nix that. The S&C folk are perfectly pleased with their holiday haul:
I think everyone is happy with our bonuses. Any grumblings I heard a few months ago about how great our year is have been replaced with elation at how big our bonuses are.
The latest word on the street (per Greedy NY): Sullivan & Cromwell has matched the market with respect to associate bonuses. We are investigating. Update (10:54 AM): We’ve left messages with S&C’s spokesperson and with H. Rodgin Cohen, the firm chairman. We’ll let you know when we hear back from them. Update (12:14 PM): Consider this CONFIRMED. More details, plus the boilerplate of the bonus memo(s), are available here. S&C Matched [Infirmation / Greedy NY]
As was the case last night, we must take leave of our computer for a little while. (Our plans involve members of the Elect, so this is an excused absence.)
There has been some bonus news today (Paul Weiss), even if not as much as yesterday (Cravath and Cadwalader). But the day isn’t over yet, and more news might break later this afternoon or evening.
Same drill as before. If any interesting bonus news surfaces while we’re gone, please mention it in the comments to this post (and include a link to your source — e.g., Infirmation, Greedy Associates, AutoAdmit.com).
We’ll look into any such tips after we return. Thank you in advance for your help.
Finally, if you’re looking for amusement or distraction while we’re gone, check out our comprehensive collection of fun or interesting links, gathered from all around the blawgosphere. After clicking through and reading all of these posts, you’ll be completely caught up on two weeks’ worth of legal blogging! Earlier: Supplemental Non-Sequiturs: 12.12.06
Consider the Paul Weiss rumor from earlier this afternoon CONFIRMED.
1. We’ve spoken on the phone with Madelaine Miller, communications manager for Paul Weiss. She confirmed that the firm just announced bonuses ranging from $30,000 for the class of 2006 to $65,000 for the most senior classes.
2. We have the Paul Weiss memo, which includes both 2006 bonus and 2007 base salary information. Check it out, after the jump.
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.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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