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

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DoveBodyWash

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by DoveBodyWash » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:11 pm

I think CSM or STB will match Milbank's 110% scale but we'll see.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:22 pm
tbp140 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:06 pm
tbp140 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:04 pm
So what does this mean? If the target is 2100 hours, does the associate need to have billed 80% of 2100 hours by the measuring date (1680 hours)? Or does it mean the associate needed to be on track to bill 80% of the target (1680 hours) by year-end?
The utilization is calculated as of September 6th, so whatever amount of the year to date that would get you to 2100 by year end
Thanks! So the associate would have had to have billed 1680 hours on or before Sep. 6?
No. Associates need to have billed at or above 80% utilization from Jan 1 through Sept 6 to get 100% of the bonus. Our utilization rate is based on 2100 hours per year, so 100% utilization as of Sept 6 is 1434.43 hours, and 80% of that is 1147.54 hours. So long as an associate has billed >1147.54 hours as of Sept 6th, they'll get 100% bonus.
Is that figure in the aggregate or diced up on a weekly or monthly basis? Will matter significantly for certain practices.

JusticeSquee

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by JusticeSquee » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:19 pm

DoveBodyWash wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:11 pm
I think CSM or STB will match Milbank's 110% scale but we'll see.
+1

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:22 pm
tbp140 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:06 pm
tbp140 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:04 pm
So what does this mean? If the target is 2100 hours, does the associate need to have billed 80% of 2100 hours by the measuring date (1680 hours)? Or does it mean the associate needed to be on track to bill 80% of the target (1680 hours) by year-end?
The utilization is calculated as of September 6th, so whatever amount of the year to date that would get you to 2100 by year end
Thanks! So the associate would have had to have billed 1680 hours on or before Sep. 6?
No. Associates need to have billed at or above 80% utilization from Jan 1 through Sept 6 to get 100% of the bonus. Our utilization rate is based on 2100 hours per year, so 100% utilization as of Sept 6 is 1434.43 hours, and 80% of that is 1147.54 hours. So long as an associate has billed >1147.54 hours as of Sept 6th, they'll get 100% bonus.
Is that figure in the aggregate or diced up on a weekly or monthly basis? Will matter significantly for certain practices.
Quite frankly I'm not sure -- you just use our billing software and put in date ranges and it spits out your utilization percentage for those date ranges based on a 2100 hour annual goal.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:22 pm
tbp140 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:06 pm
tbp140 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:04 pm
So what does this mean? If the target is 2100 hours, does the associate need to have billed 80% of 2100 hours by the measuring date (1680 hours)? Or does it mean the associate needed to be on track to bill 80% of the target (1680 hours) by year-end?
The utilization is calculated as of September 6th, so whatever amount of the year to date that would get you to 2100 by year end
Thanks! So the associate would have had to have billed 1680 hours on or before Sep. 6?
No. Associates need to have billed at or above 80% utilization from Jan 1 through Sept 6 to get 100% of the bonus. Our utilization rate is based on 2100 hours per year, so 100% utilization as of Sept 6 is 1434.43 hours, and 80% of that is 1147.54 hours. So long as an associate has billed >1147.54 hours as of Sept 6th, they'll get 100% bonus.
Is that figure in the aggregate or diced up on a weekly or monthly basis? Will matter significantly for certain practices.
Double post, sorry.

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Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:59 pm

thelawyler wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:02 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:28 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:23 pm
thelawyler wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:12 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:06 pm
tbp140 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:04 pm
So what does this mean? If the target is 2100 hours, does the associate need to have billed 80% of 2100 hours by the measuring date (1680 hours)? Or does it mean the associate needed to be on track to bill 80% of the target (1680 hours) by year-end?
The utilization is calculated as of September 6th, so whatever amount of the year to date that would get you to 2100 by year end
They probably chose Sept 6 strategically to fuck over as many associates as possible within a reasonable date.
I’m the person you responded to - this is a stupid take. If Milbank wanted to screw us over, why would it come over the top of DPW to give a significant number of its associates who are getting crushed 1.5x bonuses?
Agreed, many associates are insanely busy and Milbank is having a record year. I imagine a significant majority of associates will be above this 110% threshold.
Yes and for those busy associates, it won't matter what date you chose because they will probably get the 150% or 100% bonus.

But what about the less busy associates? Why 80% utilization? Why not 75%? 70%? 85%? That is where the discretion comes in. If I was in charge of drawing the line, I would bust out the hours of all the associates, have annualized data for the last twelve months with percentage break outs for how many associates fall into what buckets, and then choose the date and number that would feel reasonable but save the firm as much money as possible.

If you think they didn't do that, I think you underestimate how business decisions are made. Normally they're made using numbers instead of arbitrarily.
Totally agree with you. Guess I just took issue with the words "fuck over as many associates as possible" given that they are beating other firms and they know that many associates will be able to meet that higher threshold. Perhaps too much firm Kool aide on my part.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:27 pm

No one said the thresholds were set arbitrarily- we simply pushed back on your stupid take that they were set precisely to fuck over as many associates as possible

thelawyler

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by thelawyler » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:18 am

It's just semantics though. "save as much money for the firm as possible" and "fuck over as many associates as possible" is a glass half full or half empty sort of thing. I'm just drained from being overloaded with work recently after a long period of being slow so definitely taking the negative angle here as I think I'd probably have missed that threshold if I was at Milbank in the practice I'm in.

Either way, good on Milbank overall as I'm sure it was busy there for a lot of associates.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:30 am

As a restructuring attorney consistently billing 300+ hour months, good.

This is deserved. I hope to see more firms match.

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objctnyrhnr

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:25 am

I’m at a Hogan Lovells/Morgan Lewis-level Firm in a very busy lit practice. The firm did not cut salaries or lay anybody off but I have reason to believe that a number of associates in transactional groups were without much work for a number of months this year.

I’m probably pacing for about 2400 (target is 2k).

What do we think the chances are that firms that meet the profile of my firm match this? We are never a market mover but always a matcher to my knowledge.

On the one hand, perhaps my firm is less likely to meet this DPW move because the transactional end didn’t hold up its end of the profit bargain for so much time, as they have lot of associate mouths to feed with regard to salary alone. On the other hand, if those associates way off the 2k mark then maybe it’ll actually be easier (ie cheaper) than usual for the firm to reward the associates who have been busy during this time. I’m thinking most associates are either way above pace or way under it.

Thoughts?

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:24 am

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:25 am
I’m at a Hogan Lovells/Morgan Lewis-level Firm in a very busy lit practice. The firm did not cut salaries or lay anybody off but I have reason to believe that a number of associates in transactional groups were without much work for a number of months this year.

I’m probably pacing for about 2400 (target is 2k).

What do we think the chances are that firms that meet the profile of my firm match this? We are never a market mover but always a matcher to my knowledge.

On the one hand, perhaps my firm is less likely to meet this DPW move because the transactional end didn’t hold up its end of the profit bargain for so much time, as they have lot of associate mouths to feed with regard to salary alone. On the other hand, if those associates way off the 2k mark then maybe it’ll actually be easier (ie cheaper) than usual for the firm to reward the associates who have been busy during this time. I’m thinking most associates are either way above pace or way under it.

Thoughts?
I think down below V20 is where it becomes much more firm-specific such that there are a lot of different variables. Is NY the main office such that it would get killed if it doesn't match? If it's not the main office, do competitors in the main office jurisdiction match (e.g., if it's D.C. do the big D.C.-based players match?)? Did the firm have any austerity measures and has it fully rolled them back? What's the bankruptcy practice look like? Etc., etc.

These types of firms are going to feel a lot of pressure with recruiting coming up in January. But if they don't feel they need to match to compete with the talent they want, they won't. It just depends on how far the dominoes fall until their hands are forced.

MillllerTime

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by MillllerTime » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:47 am

I am 100% on board with the idea to break out bonus levels into bands based on hours (and not biased either... I will personally get market or less). Any time you set bright lines you will inevitably have people falling just short and losing money, but Milbank is doing it right by setting a floor at 50% of the market. Suggesting they are trying to screw people over while they pay extra to those who deserve it seems ridiculous to me, especially given their recent track record on comp.

I doubt Milbank is going to release any aggregate or average numbers, but I bet they end up paying out more than they would if they stuck with DPW across the board. This will likely be true at a lot of the top ~20 firms too. But it seems there is more variance than usual this year and we have lots of people grinding consecutive 300 hour months with other people working at 50% capacity or less (through no fault of their own). As long as you are not cutting base comp for the latter group (or laying of staff...), rewarding the former group is the right way to go.

Scallion

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Scallion » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:39 pm
Do firms from here on out match the numbers set by DP? Where does that leave the more modest numbers set by Cooley?
Cooley will either keep its amount low or raise a second time. If Cooley is not willing to meet the market, which is significantly higher than its original statement, then announcing first rather than later was an effective way to not be shamed for being so much lower.

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jarofsoup

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by jarofsoup » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:40 am

People are getting a bit crazy about this but I think it is not going to be about matching. It’s going to be about giving or not giving fall bonuses.

Some of us poor souls still hav salary cuts in place.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:50 am

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:25 am
I’m at a Hogan Lovells/Morgan Lewis-level Firm in a very busy lit practice. The firm did not cut salaries or lay anybody off but I have reason to believe that a number of associates in transactional groups were without much work for a number of months this year.

I’m probably pacing for about 2400 (target is 2k).

What do we think the chances are that firms that meet the profile of my firm match this? We are never a market mover but always a matcher to my knowledge.

On the one hand, perhaps my firm is less likely to meet this DPW move because the transactional end didn’t hold up its end of the profit bargain for so much time, as they have lot of associate mouths to feed with regard to salary alone. On the other hand, if those associates way off the 2k mark then maybe it’ll actually be easier (ie cheaper) than usual for the firm to reward the associates who have been busy during this time. I’m thinking most associates are either way above pace or way under it.

Thoughts?
At a firm similar to these... and I be thrilled with even 50% of DPW. Have been crazy busy throughout pandemic, but just a few months ago was seriously concerned about austerity measures at my firm... so any bonus would be a huge boost

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:45 am

Scallion wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:30 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:39 pm
Do firms from here on out match the numbers set by DP? Where does that leave the more modest numbers set by Cooley?
Cooley will either keep its amount low or raise a second time. If Cooley is not willing to meet the market, which is significantly higher than its original statement, then announcing first rather than later was an effective way to not be shamed for being so much lower.
So you mean Cooley may have massively screwed its people? How would that go over well with attorneys at the firm?

TigerIsBack

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by TigerIsBack » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:45 am
Scallion wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:30 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:39 pm
Do firms from here on out match the numbers set by DP? Where does that leave the more modest numbers set by Cooley?
Cooley will either keep its amount low or raise a second time. If Cooley is not willing to meet the market, which is significantly higher than its original statement, then announcing first rather than later was an effective way to not be shamed for being so much lower.
So you mean Cooley may have massively screwed its people? How would that go over well with attorneys at the firm?
"Massively screwed it's people" may be a bit of a stretch at this point when only 3 total firms have given any bonuses (one of which is Cooley) and some firms went through layoffs, furloughs and paycuts (which was not Cooley).

We still don't know if the DPW scale will stretch beyond the v10/Milbank/v20. If it does, then I still don't think Cooley has "massively screwed its people" by providing COVID bonuses, which are better than nothing.

Don't get me wrong....I'll be missed if my firm doesn't match DPW, but I can't say that if they don't they've massively screwed me with a straight face, since it's pretty clear we'll get annual bonuses in line with last year at least.

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TigerIsBack

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by TigerIsBack » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:56 am

^ Nvm, I take back my take above. Anything less than DPW is screwing associates. Let's get this thing some momentum!

collegewriter

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by collegewriter » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:26 pm


unclejackkellyesq

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by unclejackkellyesq » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:48 pm

What's the over/under on the number of firms that will match special fall bonuses tomorrow? I'm going to set the line at 2...

TigerIsBack

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by TigerIsBack » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:40 pm

unclejackkellyesq wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:48 pm
What's the over/under on the number of firms that will match special fall bonuses tomorrow? I'm going to set the line at 2...
Do we have historical data on number of firms matching by number of days into the cycle from the 2016 raises or 2018 raises/summer bonuses?

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Auxilio

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Auxilio » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:42 pm

unclejackkellyesq wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:48 pm
What's the over/under on the number of firms that will match special fall bonuses tomorrow? I'm going to set the line at 2...
Assuming we aren't being too picky about the definition of "match" I think over (4, specifically).

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:39 pm

Kirkland just announced no fall bonuses. Makes me feel much better about my 300 hour months...

Anonymous User
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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:40 pm

Kirkland announced no fall bonuses but fall bonuses of other firms will be considered when computing year-end bonuses. “Always been a compensation leader and we intend to be so again this year.” Need the rest of the V10 to make it happen for good

Ultramar vistas

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Re: 2020 Bonuses

Post by Ultramar vistas » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:39 pm
Kirkland just announced no fall bonuses. Makes me feel much better about my 300 hour months...
Not really. The email says:

“ However, rather than paying a fall bonus, in determining our December bonuses we will, as we always have, take into account the hard work and extraordinary contributions of our associates, as well as the fall bonuses paid by any other firm, to ensure we remain a compensation leader”

To me that says that they are just going to wait until Jan 1 to pay, not that they will not pay them.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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