Christmas came on Nov. 30 for associates in corporate law in Texas.
In an email Thursday to the firm’s associates, V&E announced it is paying them annual bonuses ranging from $15,000 to $115,000 and increasing their compensation between $10,000 and $20,000 per year. The bonuses and pay increases apply to all of the firm’s 11 offices.
New York-based Cravath announced it was raising associate salaries and making bonuses on Tuesday.
Sidley, McDermott and Norton Rose Fulbright informed its associates Thursday that it is matching Cravath. Sidley described its bonuses as “Cravath-plus.” Kirkland & Ellis also announced that it would match the Cravath salaries, but has deferred a new bonus structure for later.
The question at several law firms this week was whether V&E would match Cravath and then whether other Texas-based firms would follow V&E.
In past years, V&E waited a week to decide. This year, it took the firm less than 48 hours.
V&E’s first-year associates will be paid $225,000 a year. Fifth-year associates will see their annual compensation increased to $365,000 and eighth-year associates will see their pay jump to $435,000. That means associates in their final year prior to be up for partner will be paid a minimum $550,000.
At a Glance: V&E’s New Salary and Bonus Structure
The email to associates was authored by V&E chair Keith Fullenweider and the firm’s three vice chairs. It reads:
“As we conclude another year of strong growth, we are pleased to announce that the firm will be awarding market bonuses to qualifying associates for 2023 performance. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed, and it is an important driving force behind our continued success. Thank you for your exceptional contributions and commitment to excellence. In addition to the amounts listed below, consistent with past practice, the firm expects to pay supplemental bonuses to associates who had an exceptional year. Supplemental bonus amounts for Associates will be determined on an individual basis with input from Practice Group Leaders and Talent Leads and will be communicated before the end of January.”
“We continue to be excited about the future opportunities for Vinson & Elkins and for you.”
If your law firm has announced its annual bonuses or salary increases, please contact The Texas Lawbook at email@example.com.