Business of Law

Average hourly billing rate for partners last year was $727 in largest law firms

Billing rates increased 3.1 percent for law firm partners last year, while associate rates jumped 7.4 percent.

The average 2012 hourly billing rate was about $536 for law firm partners and $370 for associates, according to the analysis by TyMetrix Legal Analytics and CEB. Corporate Counsel summarizes the findings.

The average billing rate for partners ranged from about $343 at firms of 50 or fewer lawyers to $727 at firms of more than 1,000 lawyers. The analysis takes information from $9.5 billion worth of invoices submitted by 4,800 U.S. law firms to 83 corporate clients from 2008 to 2012.

Partners in New York City had the highest average billing rate—about $756—while the practice area with the highest billing rate was finance and securities, with an average of $673 an hour.

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