Ah, the start of a new year. Out with the old and in with the new. And some of the new things you often get at the start of a year are requests from your attorneys for hourly rate increases.
In a prior blog piece, “A Primer on Increasing Hourly Billing Rates During the Course of a Representation,” I discussed applicable factors that should apply when an attorney notifies a client of a rate increase. Simply put, case law and the ethics of the legal profession dictate that timing of the notice to the client of a rate increase as well as the rate increase itself must be “reasonable.” However, this mainly address those types of situations in which the attorney and client have a written fee agreement whereby the attorney may have a contractual right to increase billing rates from time to time during the course of the representation.
But what about those situations where there is no contractual right to a rate increase . . .
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