Forget the revolution in associate compensation, lockstep is just fine down at Latham & Watkins.
The firm is unfreezing salaries and spicing up bonuses, according to Above the Law.
Looks like Latham had a decent year, and its 19 percent reduction in headcount last year paid off.
The firm confirmed this new good-’ol-days salary scale, which associates at all but a handful of firms would drool over nowadays.
Weigh the scale after the jump.
Class of 2009: $160K
Class of 2008: $170K
Class of 2007: $185K
Class of 2006: $210K
Class of 2005: $230K
Class of 2004: $250K
Class of 2003: $265K
Class of 2002: $280K
But Latham declined to comment on ATL’s report that it would repay through bonuses the money associates lost last year because of the salary freeze. In other words, would neither confirm nor deny …
Latham was one of the first firms to freeze salaries back in December 2008, which many rightly predicted would be a market-leading move.
Most firms froze or cut salaries in 2009.
Then, firms like Howrey, Orrick and Reed Smith began to proclaim the death of lockstep, and the birth of merit-based compensation and promotion that would increase “efficiencies,” “disincentivize” overbilling, deliver better “value” to clients, and blah blah blah.
ATL called a spade a spade on that logic: “Don’t let merit-based metrics confuse you — if you are not getting paid at least this much, you’re not working for a firm that pays top of the market associate salaries.”
— Amanda Royal
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