Legal Law

Greatest Agency In America Provides Associates A Massive Bonus IOU – Above the Legislation

What a difference a year makes when it comes to bonus announcements. Back in 2020, this firm was the first one out of the gate, leading the market on bonuses, and in 2021, it’s back to business as usual, following along with all the other firms.

We’re talking about Baker McKenzie, of course, and last Friday, while bonuses were still lagging (because Biglaw firms at large were waiting on Davis Polk’s then forthcoming announcement), the firm made a little announcement of its own: a match would soon be on the way.

Colin H. Murray, the firm’s CEO for North America, sent this message to associates:

By now you may have seen some announcements regarding a new bonus scale. The NA Leadership Team remains committed to pay market compensation and we do intend to match the prevailing scale for our U.S. Offices. A more detailed email regarding the new bonus scale and the Special Bonus eligibility will follow soon in early December.

This is, essentially, a big fat IOU note. Baker McKenzie didn’t know if the prevailing bonus scale had yet been settled, but at least leadership let associates know that bonuses would be coming down the line as soon as a final scale had been decided.

(And the “special bonus eligibility” Murray speaks of here has nothing to do with the newly announced Davis Polk special bonuses. He’s not psychic; he’s talking about the special bonuses the firm announced last April, with a January 2022 payout date, based on annualized hours as of year-end. We covered those here.)

Congratulations to everyone at the firm on your future bonus matches!

Remember everyone, we depend on your tips to stay on top of important bonus updates, so when your firm matches, please text us (646-820-8477) or email us (subject line: “[Firm Name] Matches”). Please include the memo if available. You can take a photo of the memo and send it via text or email if you don’t want to forward the original PDF or Word file.

And if you’d like to sign up for ATL’s Bonus Alerts (which is the alert list we also use for salary announcements), please scroll down and enter your email address in the box below this post. If you previously signed up for the bonus alerts, you don’t need to do anything. You’ll receive an email notification within minutes of each bonus announcement that we publish. Thanks for all of your help!

Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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