Legal Law

Largest firm in America provides its staff an enormous IOU bonus

What a difference a year makes when it comes to bonus announcements. In 2020, this company was the first to lead the bonuses market and in 2021, like all other companies, it will be back in business.

We’re talking about Baker McKenzie, of course, and last Friday when bonuses were lagging behind (because biglaw companies were waiting for Davis Polk’s then-upcoming announcement) the company made a little announcement: a game was about to be on the way.

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

You may have seen some announcements about a new bonus scale. The NA leadership team continues to strive to pay fair market compensation, and we intend to hit the prevailing gamut for our US offices. A more detailed e-mail regarding the new bonus scale and the eligibility for the special bonus will follow shortly at the beginning of December.

This is essentially a big bold promissory note. Baker McKenzie didn’t know if the prevailing bonus scale was already set, but at least management was telling staff that the bonuses would be due once a final tier was set.

(And the “special bonus eligibility” that Murray is talking about has nothing to do with the newly announced Davis Polk bonuses. He’s not a clairvoyant; he’s talking about the bonuses the company received last April with a payout date of January 2022 based on annualized year-end hours, which we’ve covered here.)

Congratulations to everyone in the company on your future bonus games!

Remember everyone, we need your tips to keep us updated on important bonus updates. So if your company matches, please send us an SMS (646-820-8477) or an email (subject:[Firm Name] Matches “). Please attach the memo if you have one. You can take a photo of the memo and send it via SMS or email if you do not want to forward the original PDF or Word file.

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

Staci Zaretsky is Senior Editor at Above the Law, where she has been working since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so don’t hesitate to email her tips, questions, comments, or criticism. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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