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Law firm hourly rates jumped 4.8% last year

Report shows firms are regaining some leverage when it comes to pricing

According to the latest figures, law firms are clawing back some of the pricing power they lost during the recession.

A joint report by CEB and TyMetrix, a unit of Wolters Kluwer, found that law firm lawyers’ hourly rates increased an average of 4.8 percent from 2011 to 2012. Although the gain outpaced inflation, it pales in comparison to the 8.2 percent increase that took place from 2007 to 2008, but is comparable to the 5.1 percent jump between 2010 and 2011.

In the past three years, real estate lawyers have boosted their billing rates by 8.1 percent, the biggest increase by practice group for that period. Regulatory and government-practices lawyers have seen rate increases of 6.1 percent. Law firm partners have had the hardest time securing rate increases; over the past three years, they’ve seen an average jump of 4.9 percent.

Other stats from the study include:

  • Big law firm increased their lawyer fees by 7.3 percent from 2010 to 2012
  • Law firm partners in major cities saw rate increases of between 5 percent and 6 percent
  • In the first quarter of 2013, health care lawyers billed 15 percent more hours than they did in 2012
  • Rates for law firm partners who advise technology companies increased 9.6 percent

Read the Wall Street Journal for more information.

For more law firm news, read:

Weil, Gotshal & Manges lays off employees, cuts partner pay

Two Biglaw firms contend with employment litigation

Epstein Becker to close Atlanta office

Orrick lays off executives

Joe Lieberman joins Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman

Judge OKs $19.5 million Dewey mismanagement deal

Ashley Post

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