Is Biglaw’s $ 1 billion company offering “special bonuses” in name only?


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(Image via Getty)

Last week, Baker MacKenzie shocked the Biglaw scientist with it Early announcement of year-end bonuses. It may be one of the most profitable companies in the country, but it is not known as the leader in compensation business, so everyone was shocked by the move. So far, the company’s announcement has been met with resounding silence. No other similar company does. Colleagues at Baker McKenzie are outraged – and not just because the bonus scale is the same as it has been for years across most of the large law firms.

Colleagues are angry at another set of rewards the company has promised.

As you might remember, when Baker McKenzie first began cutting salaries in May due to the Coronavirus crisis – 15% to all lawyers and business professionals making more than $ 100,000 in the US and 10% in Canada – the company promised it would hand it out. Special rewards for “perfect performance” During the pandemic. The company later He had a round of layoffs In the US and Canada, the remaining partners madly billed for fear of losing their jobs as well. When the company announced its bonuses at the end of the year, it also announced the end of those salary cuts on November 30, and reminded colleagues again of these. Special bonuses. At the time, there was no mention of compensating anyone for wages he lost as a result of his seven-month salary cuts.

As it turns out, these rewards may not be rewards at all. Sources told us that these bonuses may be used as a way to address lost compensation, and not everyone will get them. At this point, it is worth noting that the vast majority of else Companies that cut compensation due to the pandemic have already paid back, or are working to compensate, full salaries for all affected employees.

Here is a note that colleagues at the Baker MacKenzie office in Toronto, Canada received regarding their special bonuses, in which colleagues are said to be “angry”:

Please keep in mind that this plan may be limited to the corporate office in Canada. We have contacted Baker McKenzie to comment on whether the company intends to pay compensation to its American partners through similar “special bonuses”, or whether it will do so through other means, such as lump-sum payments, and we have received this statement:

Announced bonuses are our year-end bonuses, and they are paid on our regular schedule in January. We also plan to recognize and reward our top performing employees whose practices have been affected by the downturn, as well as others who are showing exemplary performance in the face of the growing demands for their time this year. We will make these decisions after the end of the year.

We have yet to make a final decision on the details of the “special bonuses” to compensate for the salary cuts in North America. As previously mentioned, these bonuses will be separate and distinct from the annual bonuses of the associates.

Hmm. We assume we’ll see what happens, but we still hope the company will pay the colleagues and make the offer Right Special rewards instead of offering rewards in name only.

If your company or organization cuts salaries, regains previous cuts, closes its doors, or reduces the ranks of its attorneys or employees, whether through open layoffs, hidden layoffs, or voluntary takeovers, do not hesitate to let us know. Our extensive network of mentors is part of what makes the Above the Law campaign thrive. you may Email us Or text us (646-820-8477).

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Staci ZaritskyStaci Zaritsky She is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, working since 2011. She loves hearing from you, so feel free to E-mail Any advice, questions, comments or criticisms of her. You can follow them Twitter Or contact her Linkedin.


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