Soaring Out of Sight: Billing Rates Climb To $2,000 an Hour at Some BIG Law Firms

A story in the February 9 Wall Street Journal reported that billing rates at some BIG law firms had risen $1,500 an hour despite weak demand and low inflation. Now, according to a study published in May by BTI Consulting Group, the top rate at some big law firms has risen to $2,000 an hour.

It seem like it was only yesterday (actually it was 5 years ago) that I posted two pieces on lawyers at big law firms that were charging $1,000 an hour. In one blog post, I wondered why it was that some clients were willing to pay such high hourly rates if good lawyers at lower billing rates were available.

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Using “Rules of Thumb” and Common Sense in Reviewing for the Reasonableness of Time Billed

Unlike coming up with a list of non-billable “tasks,” coming up with a “list” of how long it should take to do things is difficult to do. But while it may be difficult to do, it is not impossible to use some basic “rules of thumb”  in reviewing billing entries for the reasonable of the time billed – especially if you also use some basic common sense.

Below are a few of the rules of thumb I use.

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