By Casey Sullivan
Dec 5 (Reuters) - New York litigation law firm Boies
Schiller & Flexner on Wednesday paid out associate bonuses
ranging from $25,000 to $250,000, according to the firm's
managing partner, Jonathan Schiller.
The $250,000 bonus dwarfed the figures elite firms such as
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Cravath, Swaine & Moore;
and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett have said they would pay their
associates. Those firms have said they would hand out 2012
bonuses of between $10,000 and $60,000.
While many Wall Street firms calculate year-end bonuses
strictly on seniority, the 200-lawyer Boies Schiller takes into
account a number of factors, including the number of hours the
associate bills and their billing rates, which increase with
seniority, said Schiller.
Last year, the 15-year-old firm paid associates who had
been with the firm more than a year an average of $75,000, with
top performing associates taking home as much as $200,000. This
is the first year the firm has paid its top performers $250,000,
a sum that reflects Boies Schiller's billings for 2012, said
Among other matters, the firm continued to defend Barclays
Plc in litigation stemming from the bank's 2008 purchase of
Lehman Brothers broker dealer unit just days after the
investment bank filed for bankruptcy protection. It also
continued to work on pre-existing trials for clients including
DuPont, Oracle and Philip Morris.
"We're busy on a lot of fronts," said Schiller.
The firm has used the same bonus system since its founding,
said Schiller, who opened the firm in 1997 with David Boies,
famous for representing Al Gore in the fight over the 2000
presidential election and for waging an antitrust battle against
Microsoft for the government in the 1990s. Donald Flexner joined
the firm in 2002.
The associate bonus structure has helped the firm retain and
attract new associates, said Schiller. When many firms reduced
associate bonuses to cut costs at the beginning of the financial
crisis in 2008, Boies Schiller partners reduced their own annual
bonuses in order to preserve associate bonuses.
Associates that joined Boies Schiller this fall received a
$5,000 bonus on Wednesday, he said.
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