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Attorney Fees

Top Broadcom Lawyer Charged up to $850 an Hour

Posted Sep 10, 2007 9:11 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The top lawyer for Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr charged up to $850 an hour for his work representing Broadcom Corp. in a patent dispute with a rival semiconductor maker.

The rate, while substantial, is still below that charged by some top law firm partners: $1,000 an hour.

Details of WilmerHale’s $8.5 million in fees were revealed in an Aug. 31 motion, the Recorder reports. The law firm supplied details in response to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Rudi Brewster that Qualcomm Inc. must pay Broadcom’s legal fees because of “aggravated litigation abuse" in the case. Brewster had ruled last month that Qualcomm waived its rights to enforce two patents because of the misconduct.

WilmerHale partner William Lee charged $790 to $850 an hour, while associates charged $275 to $490 an hour. The rates charged were much lower at another firm that worked on the case, McKenna Long & Aldridge, the legal newspaper says. Robert Brewer Jr., who manages the firm’s San Diego office, charged up to $475 an hour.

However WilmerHale did agree to delay a rate hike for six months for its work in the case, “effectively granting Broadcom a substantial discount for the work," the motion says.

WilmerHale Boston partner John Regan, who charges $640 an hour, defended the fee request in an interview with the Recorder."We think it's fair and reasonable," he said. "We think the rates we charge are market rates. Certainly one can't quarrel with the result."

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