2021 End of Year Bonuses Forum

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malibustacy

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2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by malibustacy » Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:19 pm

Thoughts on EOY bonuses? Same or higher than last year?

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2021 8:31 pm

malibustacy wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:19 pm
Thoughts on EOY bonuses? Same or higher than last year?
I’m guessing same as last year, with retention bonuses for 2022 announced at the same time.

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 8:31 pm
malibustacy wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:19 pm
Thoughts on EOY bonuses? Same or higher than last year?
I’m guessing same as last year, with retention bonuses for 2022 announced at the same time.
I agree with this. Same EOY scale with something like April and August retention bonuses announced before the end of the calendar year. Will be interesting to see if those are the same amounts as the 2021 special bonuses

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Oct 02, 2021 1:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:55 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 8:31 pm
malibustacy wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:19 pm
Thoughts on EOY bonuses? Same or higher than last year?
I’m guessing same as last year, with retention bonuses for 2022 announced at the same time.
I agree with this. Same EOY scale with something like April and August retention bonuses announced before the end of the calendar year. Will be interesting to see if those are the same amounts as the 2021 special bonuses
Yea, I don’t think they’ll pay more in December because that would likely incentivize people to leave.

On retention side, I wouldn’t be surprised to see April/August. But I think March/June/Sept is more likely, maybe $25k each quarter for senior associates.

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 1:48 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:55 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 8:31 pm
malibustacy wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:19 pm
Thoughts on EOY bonuses? Same or higher than last year?
I’m guessing same as last year, with retention bonuses for 2022 announced at the same time.
I agree with this. Same EOY scale with something like April and August retention bonuses announced before the end of the calendar year. Will be interesting to see if those are the same amounts as the 2021 special bonuses
Yea, I don’t think they’ll pay more in December because that would likely incentivize people to leave.

On retention side, I wouldn’t be surprised to see April/August. But I think March/June/Sept is more likely, maybe $25k each quarter for senior associates.
I'm conflicted as to whether the retention bonuses will continue -- I think they will, but I've seen a dozen folks leave and get fully-matched bonuses at their new firm, so it doesn't seem to actually do anything for retention.

Edit: Accidental Anon -- Littleredcorvette
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Oct 03, 2021 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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hoos89

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by hoos89 » Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 1:48 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:55 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 8:31 pm
malibustacy wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:19 pm
Thoughts on EOY bonuses? Same or higher than last year?
I’m guessing same as last year, with retention bonuses for 2022 announced at the same time.
I agree with this. Same EOY scale with something like April and August retention bonuses announced before the end of the calendar year. Will be interesting to see if those are the same amounts as the 2021 special bonuses
Yea, I don’t think they’ll pay more in December because that would likely incentivize people to leave.

On retention side, I wouldn’t be surprised to see April/August. But I think March/June/Sept is more likely, maybe $25k each quarter for senior associates.
I'm conflicted as to whether the retention bonuses will continue -- I think they will, but I've seen a dozen folks leave and get fully-matched bonuses at their new firm, so it doesn't seem to actually do anything for retention.
The retention bonuses are meant to keep people on the biglaw treadmill generally. To the extent they are preventing or delaying associates from leaving for in-house or other non-biglaw jobs, the retention bonuses are working.

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Oct 03, 2021 7:55 am

hoos89 wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:36 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 1:48 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:55 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 8:31 pm
malibustacy wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:19 pm
Thoughts on EOY bonuses? Same or higher than last year?
I’m guessing same as last year, with retention bonuses for 2022 announced at the same time.
I agree with this. Same EOY scale with something like April and August retention bonuses announced before the end of the calendar year. Will be interesting to see if those are the same amounts as the 2021 special bonuses
Yea, I don’t think they’ll pay more in December because that would likely incentivize people to leave.

On retention side, I wouldn’t be surprised to see April/August. But I think March/June/Sept is more likely, maybe $25k each quarter for senior associates.
I'm conflicted as to whether the retention bonuses will continue -- I think they will, but I've seen a dozen folks leave and get fully-matched bonuses at their new firm, so it doesn't seem to actually do anything for retention.
The retention bonuses are meant to keep people on the biglaw treadmill generally. To the extent they are preventing or delaying associates from leaving for in-house or other non-biglaw jobs, the retention bonuses are working.
Retention bonuses are meant to keep associates at their firms. While I agree they do function to keep some people on the biglaw treadmill generally, that is not what they are "meant" for.

I'm also not sure they are working very well at all, as I've never seen departures at this rate, to include people leaving for in-house and other non-biglaw jobs with complete disregard for the next bonus date.

Edit: Accidental Anon -- Littleredcorvette

LawMaster97

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by LawMaster97 » Sun Oct 03, 2021 8:48 am

Agreed. The retention bonuses really only function to keep people in biglaw, and they’re not doing a particularly good job of that right now. Some firms like Skadden are also doing practice-group specific retention bonuses that are designed to counter the signing bonuses, preventing associates from jumping to another biglaw firm next door.

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:43 am

As someone who lateraled this year and got his new firm to pay the full special bonuses, and knows others who did the same, the notion that they are driving “retention” is laughable. If anything, it’s just that associates are now structuring their departures around the timing of the bonuses—which is exactly what they have always done with end-year bonuses.

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almostperfectt

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by almostperfectt » Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:43 am
As someone who lateraled this year and got his new firm to pay the full special bonuses, and knows others who did the same, the notion that they are driving “retention” is laughable. If anything, it’s just that associates are now structuring their departures around the timing of the bonuses—which is exactly what they have always done with end-year bonuses.
Exactly this. If every peer firm is paying them and theres no clawback if you leave (or required time hired to have them) then they are indistinguishable from year end bonus and don't drive retention any moreso

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:04 pm

almostperfectt wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:41 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:43 am
As someone who lateraled this year and got his new firm to pay the full special bonuses, and knows others who did the same, the notion that they are driving “retention” is laughable. If anything, it’s just that associates are now structuring their departures around the timing of the bonuses—which is exactly what they have always done with end-year bonuses.
Exactly this. If every peer firm is paying them and theres no clawback if you leave (or required time hired to have them) then they are indistinguishable from year end bonus and don't drive retention any moreso
Isn’t it customary to have a one-year clawback on any bonuses paid or guaranteed at the new firm? If that is true, the retention bonuses would only work to increase retention at the new firm and not the old firm.

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:04 pm
almostperfectt wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:41 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:43 am
As someone who lateraled this year and got his new firm to pay the full special bonuses, and knows others who did the same, the notion that they are driving “retention” is laughable. If anything, it’s just that associates are now structuring their departures around the timing of the bonuses—which is exactly what they have always done with end-year bonuses.
Exactly this. If every peer firm is paying them and theres no clawback if you leave (or required time hired to have them) then they are indistinguishable from year end bonus and don't drive retention any moreso
Isn’t it customary to have a one-year clawback on any bonuses paid or guaranteed at the new firm? If that is true, the retention bonuses would only work to increase retention at the new firm and not the old firm.
I lateralled earlier this year and there was no clawback in my offer letter on my signing bonus or any of the special/annual bonuses. This might be more of a thing when you lateral late year and get your annual bonus guaranteed, or in a less hot hiring market.

And I think the special bonuses are absolutely stringing along some associates and delaying biglaw exit plans. Attrition is bad right now but we don't see what it would be but for the special bonuses. And it's also true that the special bonuses aren't true retention bonuses...the reported Skadden bonuses that are tied to being at the firm on X date in 2022 are (and there's very little chance those would get matched by another firm).

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unlicensedpotato

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by unlicensedpotato » Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:15 pm

It seems like people are missing the point on the retention bonuses -- firms have to match these bonuses if people could otherwise lateral to a competitor and get them. In that sense they help with retention because attrition at a particular firm would be much higher if that firm didn't match. Associates that nevertheless lateral are doing so because they think the opportunity at the firm is otherwise "better" (due to higher prestige, a signing bonus, etc.), but generally not because the new firm has higher standard comp (which would be the case if their prior firm didn't match retention bonuses).

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Oct 03, 2021 7:42 pm

I'm at a V30 firm in NYC. We are so damn busy across virtually every single office and practice (particularly M&A and private equity), that I'd be shocked if year-end bonuses don't increase. I don't see how they justify stagnant year end bonuses for the (5th? 6th?) year in a row. Sure salaries increased (justifiably) and there are retention bonuses, but I just don't see someone (DPW, Milbank) not raising the scale this year, even if the first announcement out of the gate is flat.

All the partners ever talk about on any group wide or office wide call is how busy the firm is across the board and how everyone expects it to continue for the foreseeable future. And all my friends at other firms talk about the same thing.

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:02 pm

For what it’s worth, partner at my V50 dropped in conversation the other day bonuses will be bigger this year than last, mentioned it as if this was obvious and I already knew. Don’t have any reason to doubt this person. We’re also bleeding associates, bringing in record profits, workflow isn’t likely to slowdown anytime soon and seems everyone’s on verge of quitting so doesn’t surprise me.

topherdane

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by topherdane » Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:02 pm
For what it’s worth, partner at my V50 dropped in conversation the other day bonuses will be bigger this year than last, mentioned it as if this was obvious and I already knew. Don’t have any reason to doubt this person. We’re also bleeding associates, bringing in record profits, workflow isn’t likely to slowdown anytime soon and seems everyone’s on verge of quitting so doesn’t surprise me.
Interesting. I wonder if they are including retention bonuses throughout 2022 in this when they say bonuses will be bigger.

I still believe December bonuses alone will be the same as last year, but I would be happy to be wrong.

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:02 pm
For what it’s worth, partner at my V50 dropped in conversation the other day bonuses will be bigger this year than last, mentioned it as if this was obvious and I already knew. Don’t have any reason to doubt this person. We’re also bleeding associates, bringing in record profits, workflow isn’t likely to slowdown anytime soon and seems everyone’s on verge of quitting so doesn’t surprise me.
Ironically, a larger end year bonus this year would make me more likely to quit sooner, not less, since I would get closer to my savings goal for exiting Biglaw. But YMMV. And I wouldn’t convey that to my firm’s management.

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Wanderingdrock

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Wanderingdrock » Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:42 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:02 pm
For what it’s worth, partner at my V50 dropped in conversation the other day bonuses will be bigger this year than last, mentioned it as if this was obvious and I already knew. Don’t have any reason to doubt this person. We’re also bleeding associates, bringing in record profits, workflow isn’t likely to slowdown anytime soon and seems everyone’s on verge of quitting so doesn’t surprise me.
Ironically, a larger end year bonus this year would make me more likely to quit sooner, not less, since I would get closer to my savings goal for exiting Biglaw. But YMMV. And I wouldn’t convey that to my firm’s management.
Shut up shut up shut UP

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:00 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:04 pm
almostperfectt wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:41 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:43 am
As someone who lateraled this year and got his new firm to pay the full special bonuses, and knows others who did the same, the notion that they are driving “retention” is laughable. If anything, it’s just that associates are now structuring their departures around the timing of the bonuses—which is exactly what they have always done with end-year bonuses.
Exactly this. If every peer firm is paying them and theres no clawback if you leave (or required time hired to have them) then they are indistinguishable from year end bonus and don't drive retention any moreso
Isn’t it customary to have a one-year clawback on any bonuses paid or guaranteed at the new firm? If that is true, the retention bonuses would only work to increase retention at the new firm and not the old firm.
I lateralled earlier this year and there was no clawback in my offer letter on my signing bonus or any of the special/annual bonuses. This might be more of a thing when you lateral late year and get your annual bonus guaranteed, or in a less hot hiring market.

And I think the special bonuses are absolutely stringing along some associates and delaying biglaw exit plans. Attrition is bad right now but we don't see what it would be but for the special bonuses. And it's also true that the special bonuses aren't true retention bonuses...the reported Skadden bonuses that are tied to being at the firm on X date in 2022 are (and there's very little chance those would get matched by another firm).
I lateralled recently with multiple offers. At each firm, the special/year-end bonus guarantees did not have a clawback but each signing bonus had a 1-year clawback. Most were pro-rated with one not prorated, which also happened to be the lowest offer.

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cornerstone

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by cornerstone » Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:40 pm

I agree that firms have incentives to pay out more this year but disagree that we will see larger year end bonuses. The economic outlook is uncertain, so firms won't want to put themselves in the position to pay out less in bonuses next year if things take a turn for the worse. Raising the typical year-end bonuses is essentially a commitment to keep paying that larger amount indefinitely. If we're getting more this year, it will be a special/retention bonus.

Prove me wrong Milbank/DPW. Or CSM if you still think you set market...

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:03 pm

If I were on my firm’s management committee and cared only about retention, I’d announce standard year-end bonuses (maybe with some nominal bumps, to improve morale?), and then, at the same time, announce “special” bonuses for 2022 (probably just re-upping the 2021 amounts and schedule).

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:03 pm
If I were on my firm’s management committee and cared only about retention, I’d announce standard year-end bonuses (maybe with some nominal bumps, to improve morale?), and then, at the same time, announce “special” bonuses for 2022 (probably just re-upping the 2021 amounts and schedule).
TCR.

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:43 am

What about pay cuts? Prefer taking a $100k pay cut and work 1/3 less.

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:44 am

What about pay cuts? Prefer taking a $100k pay cut and work 1/3 less.

almostperfectt

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Re: 2021 End of Year Bonuses

Post by almostperfectt » Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:44 am
What about pay cuts? Prefer taking a $100k pay cut and work 1/3 less.
Go away.

Not being glib, actually go in-house and you can do that exact thing.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
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