Lawyers Have “$1,000-an-Hour Club”

More lawyers joined “the $1,000-an-hour club” last year, as “partners in the top 25% of hourly billers boosted their average price to $873 an hour.” This is a 5x ratio compared to the lowest 25% who averaged $204 in 2011.

Part of the legal market has become a commodity, according to The Wall Street Journal analysis. As the economy tightened clients were unwilling to pay top dollar for “bulk contract work or compiling documents for patent claims.” The work commanding the highest rates include various corporate specialties, especially bankruptcy.

Some of the firms billing $1,000 and up include Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, according to the report by Jennifer Smith.

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