Will law firm bonuses follow the leaders this year?
Cravath, Swaine and Moore and Sullivan & Cromwell are usually the first two large law firms to announce associate bonuses and set the standard that many large firms follow. Last year Cravath paid a year-end bonuses of $35,000 to $60,000 in addition to special bonuses of $10,000 to $50,000.
As clients seek discounted legal fees in the midst of an economic downturn this year may not see $100k bonuses for associates. During a meeting of law firm managing partners hosted by Citigroup Private Bank in August (before the economic crisis) one law firm leader came to the conclusion, based on discussions at the meeting, that while year-end bonuses would remain unchanged, special bonuses will be eliminated at many firms.
As for Cravath, Swaine and Moore and Sullivan & Cromwell, they’re not saying yet.