Attorney Fees

More Top Lawyers Break Through $1,000 Hourly Billing Barrier


Kirkland & Ellis lawyer Kirk Radke has emerged as one of the nation’s most expensive lawyers, court filings suggest.

Radke, a private equity and corporate lawyer, charged hourly fees of $1,250 in early 2010, the Wall Street Journal reports. He is one of an increasing number of top lawyers billing more than $1,000 an hour.

Lawyers at the top of the billing spectrum tend to be in finance-related practices, such as mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy law, and taxes, the newspaper reports. Its chart of publicly disclosed billing rates puts these lawyers at the top:

1) Kirk Radke of Kirkland & Ellis, a corporate lawyer billing $1,250 an hour.

2) Ian Taplin of Kirkland & Ellis, a tax lawyer billing $1,220 an hour.

3) Gerhard Schmidt of Weil Gotshal & Manges, a finance, corporate and M&A lawyer billing $1,165 an hour.

4) Michelle Y.L. Gon of Baker McKenzie, a real estate, M&A and intellectual property lawyer billing $1,163 an hour.

5) Andrew Shutter, a Cleary Gottlieb bankruptcy lawyer; and Michael McDonald, a Cleary Gottlieb corporate and M&A lawyer, both billing $1,160 an hour.

Billing rates for other well-known lawyers are $1,065 an hour for former White House counsel Gregory Craig, now at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; and $1,045 an hour for bankruptcy lawyer Harvey Miller of Weil Gotshal.

“The underlying principle,” Miller told the Wall Street Journal, “is if you can get it, get it.”

Related Article

ABA Journal: The G-Man: A Week in the Life of a $1,000-Per-Hour Lawyer

Updated Feb. 24 to note another lawyer earning $1,160 per hour.

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