Clients demand and receive discounts even as lawyer rates keep going up
Lawyers demanding high hourly rates, including the $1,150 per-hour-lawyer are still around. Many lawyers are also increasing their hourly rates. However, clients are also increasingly demanding and getting discounts.
This is according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. Legal consultant Ward Bower of Altman Weil Inc., who was quoted in the WSJ story, says that hourly fees should be thought of “as the equivalent of a sticker on the car at a dealership”. He says that law firms may quote those rates, but clients are the ones determining how much they are going to pay.
However, there are still lawyers who can get high prices for their services. The number of partners who billed $1,150 plus per hour has more than doubled in the last 12 months according to data from Valeo Partners. The firm’s database shows that more than 320 lawyers billed at that level in the first quarter of 2013 compared to just 158 last year.