Attorney Fees

Big Firm Hourly Billing Rates Up Almost 8%; Average is $348

About three-quarters of the nation’s biggest law firms raised their billing rates this year, according to a survey by the National Law Journal.

Law firms charged an average $348 an hour this year, up from $321 in 2006, an increase of 7.7 percent, the legal newspaper reports. The newspaper surveyed the top 250 law firms; 119 provided information on billing rates.

One law firm—Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr—reported partner billing rates as high as $1,000 an hour, although the overall partner range was $475 to $1,000. Greenberg Traurig initially said some of its partners also bill as much as $1,000, but a spokesman later said that was an error.

Previous reports identified other law firms that bill $1,000 an hour for top partners as Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.

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