$1,000 an hour for a lawyer?

Don’t spit your coffee out on your computer screen, but a recent Wall Street Journal report found that a select group of the nation’s top lawyers can now command more than $1,000 an hour.

That made BizSense wonder, are there any of Richmond’s top-dog lawyers pulling in anywhere close to that? If so, who and for what? If not, how high can the hourly rates get locally?

After asking around town, most seem to believe that Richmond’s priciest lawyers can ask, at most, somewhere in the $400 an hour range. The consensus is that the $1,000 an hour club is made up mostly of New York lawyers and possibly a few out of Washington, D.C.-based.

According to the Wall Street Journal story, the top echelon of attorneys is now asking as much as $1,250 an hour. That level is mostly seen for work on high stakes corporate dealings like M&A transactions and big-money bankruptcies.

Read the full WSJ story here.

The WSJ story said that the global corporate-law industry is a $100-billion a year industry. It also said that these high-end rates are causing some inflation within that industry.

Nearly 2.9 percent of partners at a group of 24 large U.S. and British law firms, according to the WSJ, asked for $1,000 an hour or more in U.S. cases last year, up from 1.5% in 2009. The WSJ got its data from Valeo Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that compiles a database of hourly legal rates in certain fields.

BizSense also is wondering and is hoping readers will answer in the comments section below – what’s the most your company has ever paid an attorney on an hourly basis?

And for our loyal lawyer readers, what’s the most you have ever been able to charge and what kind of case work was it?

Don’t spit your coffee out on your computer screen, but a recent Wall Street Journal report found that a select group of the nation’s top lawyers can now command more than $1,000 an hour.

That made BizSense wonder, are there any of Richmond’s top-dog lawyers pulling in anywhere close to that? If so, who and for what? If not, how high can the hourly rates get locally?

After asking around town, most seem to believe that Richmond’s priciest lawyers can ask, at most, somewhere in the $400 an hour range. The consensus is that the $1,000 an hour club is made up mostly of New York lawyers and possibly a few out of Washington, D.C.-based.

According to the Wall Street Journal story, the top echelon of attorneys is now asking as much as $1,250 an hour. That level is mostly seen for work on high stakes corporate dealings like M&A transactions and big-money bankruptcies.

Read the full WSJ story here.

The WSJ story said that the global corporate-law industry is a $100-billion a year industry. It also said that these high-end rates are causing some inflation within that industry.

Nearly 2.9 percent of partners at a group of 24 large U.S. and British law firms, according to the WSJ, asked for $1,000 an hour or more in U.S. cases last year, up from 1.5% in 2009. The WSJ got its data from Valeo Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that compiles a database of hourly legal rates in certain fields.

BizSense also is wondering and is hoping readers will answer in the comments section below – what’s the most your company has ever paid an attorney on an hourly basis?

And for our loyal lawyer readers, what’s the most you have ever been able to charge and what kind of case work was it?

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Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

$400? At most? Wow. That’s some pretty lame reporting there. Newsflash, many associates at the bigger firms are probably charging more than $400. Partners can easily charge over $600. Many charge over $700. $1000 is probably a bit too rich for a lawyer based in Richmond, but I could easily imagine a few in the $800-$900 range.

Bob Boyle
Bob Boyle
11 years ago

Seems trivial considering the spread the partners earn on staff. Staff may be billed to clients at $175 and hour while they are paid on average $75 per hour. A partner managing 10 staff will earn $50,000 a week sitting on the beach (10 staff x $100 per hour x 50 hours per week.