Lawyer Pay

At least 3 BigLaw firms charge more than $1K per hour for top associates

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At least three large law firms are charging more than $1,000 per hour for bankruptcy work by senior associates, court filings indicate.

The firms are Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Kirkland & Ellis; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, the American Lawyer reports in a story noted by Above the Law.

Weil revealed its rates in a bankruptcy filing for J.Crew. The firm said it increased rates in October 2019, and associates are billing from $595 to $1,050 per hour. Partners and counsels are billing from $1,100 to $1,695 per hour.

Kirkland revealed associate rates as high as $1,125 per hour in a bankruptcy filing for Barney’s New York. Skadden reported that at least two associates bill more than $1,000 per hour in a bankruptcy filing for the McClatchy newspaper company.

Another law firm, King & Spalding, was so intent on keeping its billing rates secret that it withdrew a request last month for nearly $665,000 in attorney fees in a records suit against the Department of Justice. The law firm had maintained that exposure of billing rates would harm its standing with respect to competitors.

The news of $1,000 hourly associates comes 13 years after news coverage revealed that some partners were billing $1,000 per hour.

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