ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Thursday, November 18, 2004

At-will associate can pursue "implied contract" claim for bonus

New_york_flag An at-will law firm associate who claims that his proffered $150,000 annual bonus was too small will have his chance to get to a jury.  A New York appellate court has reinstated the claim by former Andreas & Berger associate Kevin Haverty that his work in winning a $3 million fee for the firm should have resulted in a higher bonus.

According to the New York Lawyer, Haverty was making $110,000 a year as an associate. The firm offered him a $150,000 bonus for his work, but Haverty rejected it as too "paltry." When the firm refused to go higher, Haverty quit and sued. Though he had no formal employment contract, the court held that he had the right to try to prove an implied contract for a bonus and to recover on quantum meruit grounds.

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