Business of Law

Altman Weil Survey Says 95% of Law Firms Plan to Up Fees By a Median 4%

After much talk of a paradigm shift in the practice of law and the need to provide clients with more value for their money in recent years, it appears that the legal economy is on the upswing.

Almost all of the law firms responding to a survey by consultant Altman Weil Inc. are planning to raise their fees this year, if they haven’t already, reports Reuters.

Among the 805 responding firms, all of which had 50 or more lawyers, 95 percent planned to increase or had increased, their rates. The median increase in fees, compared to 2010, is 4 percent.

However, “if firms are finding their feet again post-recession, it is on new ground with a number of new factors in play,” said priincipal Tom Clay, a co-author of the survey, in a press release.

Cost-cutting, in the form of reductions in staff and partner ranks, has been a common form of belt-tightening. But nearly 90 percent of the firms plan to add associates in 2011.

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