2020 Bonuses

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What will happen to bonuses this year?

Unchanged $$ and same hours target
147
39%
Unchanged $$ and lower hours target
16
4%
Lower $$ and same hours target
155
41%
Lower $$ and lower hours target
46
12%
Other
16
4%
 
Total votes: 380

QContinuum

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by QContinuum » Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:44 pm

I really think this is way too early to prognosticate. If all this resembles a bad dream by mid/late fall, and the economy's back to roaring, I expect bonuses will stay flat at the no-cut firms, and maybe even at some of the cut firms. IMO that's the "best case scenario" we can reasonably expect w.r.t. bonuses. I don't see any world where the market bonus scale increases from '19.

If we roll into December 2020 in the greatest downturn since the Depression, I don't think we'll see any bonuses, or at most de minimis bonuses, even if a few firms have notched healthy margins. It just won't look good optically to hand out significant bonuses in a Depression-esque context.

So, IMO, anything's possible, from $0 to the 2019 scale.

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BottomOfTotem

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by BottomOfTotem » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:12 pm

People also need to consider collections vs. hours billed. What will drive bonuses is the former, meaning what you’re billing right now is not a perfect metric for how profitable your firm is. While it’s unlikely the major V10 clients flat-out refuse to pay, they will try to negotiate their bills.

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DoveBodyWash

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by DoveBodyWash » Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:25 pm

https://abovethelaw.com/2020/09/cooley-bonuses/
In addition to these special appreciation bonuses, the firm has also made some commitments for year-end bonuses. First of all, they announced that these bonuses will not replace or otherwise negatively impact 2020 bonuses. And the bonuses will at least be at the 2019 level (which ranged from $15,000 to $100,000 based on year). With all the upheaval caused by COVID, it’s nice to have confirmation bonus season won’t be another casualty — at least at Cooley.

Not at Cooley but respect.

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:18 pm

Will be interesting to see if this affects other firms who did not institute any pay cuts, especially given that this is so early in the “bonus” season. As a V10’er, I really hope so.

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:47 pm

Going to be highly firm dependent. You'll see some firms put their hands up to announce early as a show of faith to their associates, I don't have a crystal ball into the v20-v50 but I'd guess you see a bunch of them take a wait/see approach and then "matching" the scale but tying it up with hours/good standing requirements and paying in mid-January or something. V50+ who knows wtf will happen.

Cravath not moving anymore doesn't matter. If Milbank announces, followed by another 2-3 in the v20, that's enough momentum to set the market.

I know a lot of people don't think we're at recession level but through chatter with counterparties at peer firms on deals, there are a lot of smart associates at great/top firms in core groups who have not been cranking hard. Maybe lit, bk, tax, L&E and a few other random groups are enough to float your firm, but I was pretty surprised at some of what I was hearing.

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Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:18 pm
Will be interesting to see if this affects other firms who did not institute any pay cuts, especially given that this is so early in the “bonus” season. As a V10’er, I really hope so.
I'm at a tech/VC/life sciences peer firm and I'm going to pissed if we don't match...

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:18 pm
Will be interesting to see if this affects other firms who did not institute any pay cuts, especially given that this is so early in the “bonus” season. As a V10’er, I really hope so.
I'm at a tech/VC/life sciences peer firm and I'm going to pissed if we don't match...
Same boat. EC/VC has been bonkers slammed in the Bay, so not going to make a great impression if Cooley's peers don't match this.

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:23 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:18 pm
Will be interesting to see if this affects other firms who did not institute any pay cuts, especially given that this is so early in the “bonus” season. As a V10’er, I really hope so.
I'm at a tech/VC/life sciences peer firm and I'm going to pissed if we don't match...
Same boat. EC/VC has been bonkers slammed in the Bay, so not going to make a great impression if Cooley's peers don't match this.
Does anyone remember how quickly firms followed with summer bonuses back in 2018? I remember my firm taking a while to follow but can't find anything on how quickly the first firms were to announce after the initial announcement.

KM2016

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by KM2016 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:59 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:23 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:18 pm
Will be interesting to see if this affects other firms who did not institute any pay cuts, especially given that this is so early in the “bonus” season. As a V10’er, I really hope so.
I'm at a tech/VC/life sciences peer firm and I'm going to pissed if we don't match...
Same boat. EC/VC has been bonkers slammed in the Bay, so not going to make a great impression if Cooley's peers don't match this.
Does anyone remember how quickly firms followed with summer bonuses back in 2018? I remember my firm taking a while to follow but can't find anything on how quickly the first firms were to announce after the initial announcement.
https://abovethelaw.com/2018/06/salary- ... ises-2018/

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Kikero

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Kikero » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:42 pm

I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see the Cooley special bonus catching on. Gunderson gave summer bonuses last year and nobody matched. I don’t think the California firms care as much about/are as used to setting comp trends as NY firms, which is why firms like Fenwick are considered desirable places to work even though they are not paying market when it comes to bonuses.

persia1921

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by persia1921 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:52 pm

Alas, I tend to agree with the above, though Cooley is probably a bigger player than Gunderson in terms of folks it competes for.

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:04 pm

Word on the street is DPW just announced pretty large special bonuses

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:13 pm

Confirmed. DPW paying huge special bonuses.

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Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:15 pm

Anon above and can't even post straight due to excitement! DPW Scale below


7,500
10,000
20,000
27,500
32,500
37,000
40,000

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:16 pm

Can confirm - DPW just announced the below special bonuses and guaranteed 2020 year-end bonuses will be no less than 2019.

Class of 2019 $7,500
Class of 2018 $10,000
Class of 2017 $20,000
Class of 2016 $27,500
Class of 2015 $32,500
Class of 2014 $37,000
Class of 2013 and senior $40,000

ChairmanKaga

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by ChairmanKaga » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:21 pm

Very smart move by DPW. They've been killing it during COVID due to the massive volumes running through the debt/CM practice. The rest of the V10 will need to match and not all of them will be having as strong a year as DPW.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:35 pm

Goodwin announced yesterday on a previously scheduled call that it would match annual bonuses this year for whatever the peer firms do. This was like minutes after the Cooley announcement, so I assume they had already planned this and were not reacting to the Cooley announcement.

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Stillblade

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Stillblade » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:35 pm
Goodwin announced yesterday on a previously scheduled call that it would match annual bonuses this year for whatever the peer firms do. This was like minutes after the Cooley announcement, so I assume they had already planned this and were not reacting to the Cooley announcement.

If they match this..... Boy. Imagine stealthing dozens of associates and then paying lavish special bonuses a couple months later.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:45 pm

Stillblade wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:22 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:35 pm
Goodwin announced yesterday on a previously scheduled call that it would match annual bonuses this year for whatever the peer firms do. This was like minutes after the Cooley announcement, so I assume they had already planned this and were not reacting to the Cooley announcement.

If they match this..... Boy. Imagine stealthing dozens of associates and then paying lavish special bonuses a couple months later.
As a current associate, understand the optics but please match lol.

Ultramar vistas

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Ultramar vistas » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:45 pm
Stillblade wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:22 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:35 pm
Goodwin announced yesterday on a previously scheduled call that it would match annual bonuses this year for whatever the peer firms do. This was like minutes after the Cooley announcement, so I assume they had already planned this and were not reacting to the Cooley announcement.

If they match this..... Boy. Imagine stealthing dozens of associates and then paying lavish special bonuses a couple months later.
As a current associate, understand the optics but please match lol.
DPW, furious to have fallen to V7, seize the opportunity to storm back up the rankings.

Let’s hope Kirkland plays defense on that V6 position by #shattering the market, followed by Weil, devastated by the lack of appreciation for their BX work, raising salaries #NYto220.

/s

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:23 am

In scenarios like this do firms like Cooley come around to meeting the market? Seems bad for morale.

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Auxilio

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Auxilio » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:23 am
In scenarios like this do firms like Cooley come around to meeting the market? Seems bad for morale.
If their peers match DPW, I think they will. But I wouldn't be surprised if there is stratification among who pays bonuses, and how much.

attorney589753

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by attorney589753 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:27 pm

Auxilio wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:39 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:23 am
In scenarios like this do firms like Cooley come around to meeting the market? Seems bad for morale.
If their peers match DPW, I think they will. But I wouldn't be surprised if there is stratification among who pays bonuses, and how much.
Don't you think Cooley knew there was a chance someone would come over-the-top when they announced? And their primary motivation was associate retention? So I think they have to match. My expectation is optical matching up-and-down the board (maybe firms really hit by COVID, those that did paycuts, sit out entirely), but lots matching with stricter hours requirements. I kind of agree with the overall view that we could see more obvious stratification in pay at some point, but I don't think a $7-40K bonus is that event.

smile0751

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by smile0751 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:12 pm

Are we expecting to hear of any matching today?

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:16 pm

smile0751 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:12 pm
Are we expecting to hear of any matching today?
Would be surprised if there's any movement this week. Firms need to hold partner meetings and will likely wait for others to move first. But it's only a matter of time. Don't see how CSM, S&C, or STB can avoid not responding given the recruiting overlap. Being paid as much as DPW, S&C, STB, Skadden is like a birthright at CSM.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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