Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy on Wednesday sent associates off on their Thanksgiving weekend with news that they will receive bonuses that matched the rates Cravath, Swaine & Moore announced on Monday.
Associates will receive bonuses of $7,500 to $35,000 depending on their class year, according to a memo to associates obtained by the New York Law Journal. The bonus memo came a day after Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom announced bonuses of the same amounts and added further evidence that the market rate was settling on the payments announced by Cravath.
Bonus levels have fallen dramatically from the pre-recession highs of 2007, when associates at top New York law firms received year-end bonuses of $35,000 to $60,000 and “special bonuses” of $10,000 to $50,000. Milbank in 2008 announced bonuses that ranged from $17,500 to $32,500. Last year’s bonuses at Milbank ranged from $7,500 to $30,000.
While the legal market has been recovering from the pains of the recession, fee pressure continues. A recent Citi Private Bank report found that law firms nationally through the third quarter had reported flat revenue growth.
Milbank will pay bonuses on or before Jan. 15, the memo said. Virtually every associate in all of its offices will receive a bonus, a source said.