Speculation on spring bonuses after S&C's 'anaemic' award
Sullivan & Cromwell’s announced relatively small bonus awards of between $1000 and $5000, or around .6 per cent of salary. This year’s award is significantly lower than that of last year, when associates were given between $2500 and $20,000.
All eyes are now on the other firm to traditionally lead the market at bonus time - Cravath Swaine & Moore. Industry wisdom says that if Cravath announces a bigger bonus, the rest of biglaw will follow including, sooner or later, Sullivan & Cromwell.
In the past, the spring bonus was offered as part of a staff retention strategy, but it is difficult to see such a low award performing that function. Perhaps it is simple appeasement, in light of the fact that profits per partner averaged $3.25mm in 2011.
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