Lawyers On Track For Mid-Year Bonuses At Trial Firm McKool Smith

rial Firm McKool Smith

Dallas-based law firm McKool Smith, known for taking on high-stakes patent cases and other litigation, announced it will pay its associates and other lawyers mid-year bonuses up to $30,000. McKool Smith’s managing principal and chairman, David Sochia, revealed in an internal memo on Thursday that bonuses for principals, associates, and senior counsel will range from $2,500 to $30,000 based on their billing pace.

“We know it’s been a busy 2024 and want to show our appreciation for your contribution to the firm’s continued success and the success of our clients,” Sochia stated in the memo, which Reuters reviewed. The firm plans to distribute the bonuses by June 30, in addition to potential year-end bonuses. Sochia was not immediately available for further comment.

In 2021, many U.S. law firms, including large full-service corporate and litigation firms, provided mid-year or other “special” discretionary bonus payouts amid an M&A boom and intense competition for associate talent. Traditionally, law firms have only given year-end bonuses.

Litigation has been a bright spot for law firms as mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate deal work waned after pandemic-era highs. This trend helped drive overall growth in demand for law firm services at the beginning of 2024, following a lackluster 2023, according to Thomson Reuters Institute’s Law Firm Financial Index.

Another litigation firm, Hueston Hennigan, announced last week that it would give bonuses ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 to associates and counsel who meet certain billable hour marks. The California-founded firm, which employs 75 lawyers, declined to comment.

McKool Smith recently achieved notable litigation wins, including a $445 million patent infringement jury verdict for computer memory company Netlist against chipmaker Micron Technology in May, and a $142 million patent damages jury verdict for G+ Communications against Samsung in April. In these cases, McKool Smith collaborated with co-counsel from the litigation firm Irell & Manella.