Network Firm News

Monday, December 16, 2002

Hourly Rates Going Higher
Although not huge, increases are the norm in a year when the ABA targeted the primacy of billable hours
Ruth Singleton -- The National Law Journal -- 12-16-2002
Despite the slumping economy, law firms' hourly billing rates have continued to inch up over the past year. According to NLJ 250 data, 28 firms' high rate for partners was $600 or more, and one Los Angeles firm topped out at $850. According to information gathered as part of The National Law Journal's 2002 survey of the nation's 250 largest law firms, the faltering economy has not resulted in a downturn in rates.

The highest hourly rate reported was $850, which is that of Bertram Fields, an entertainment law partner at Los Angeles' Greenberg Glusker. Twenty-eight firms listed a high rate for partners of $600 or more, double the number reported last year [see Firm-by-Firm Sampling of Billing Rates Nationwide].

The NLJ survey results indicate that many law firms increase billing rates according to associate class.

In August, the American Bar Association released the ABA Commission on Billable Hours Report. The ABA report acknowledged that the billable hour will remain entrenched for the foreseeable future, and listed several reasons why alternative billing is difficult to implement [see Alternatives to the Billable Hour].

A Firm-by-Firm Sampling of Billing Rates Nationwide

The National Law Journal asked the respondents to its 2002 survey of the nation's 250 largest law firms to provide hourly billing rate information for partners and associates firmwide. The firms that supplied this information -- including some firms that are not in the NLJ 250 -- are listed below in alphabetical order. The number after a firm's name indicates the total number of attorneys at that firm. The city listed below the name of a firm is the location of the firm's principal office or largest office.

A   B   C   D

Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (1,017)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $350-$600
Associates $170-$330

Alston & Bird (674)
(Atlanta)
Partners $330-$575
Associates $170-$500

Altheimer & Gray (361)
(Chicago)
Partners $220-$525
Associates $115-$360

Andrews & Kurth (375)
(Houston)
Partners $310-$595
Associates $170-$400

Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn (249)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $315-$560
Associates $165-$360

Armstrong Teasdale (230)
(St. Louis)
Partners $210-$310
Associates $105-$240

Arter & Hadden (273)
(Cleveland)
Partners $215-$450
Associates $150-$285

Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell (249)
(Memphis, Tenn.)
Partners $175-$480
Associates $110-$275

Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll (441)
(Philadelphia)
Partners $240-$525
Associates $145-$300

Bell, Boyd & Lloyd (226)
(Chicago)
Partners $250-$550
Associates $200-$275

Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin (301)
(Kansas City, Mo.)
Partners $165-$410
Associates $110-$210

Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley (398)
(Philadelphia)
Partners $285-$565
Associates $175-$360

Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry (89)
(Nashville, Tenn.)
Partners $185-$375
Associates $135-$235

Bracewell & Patterson (362)
(Houston)
Partners $210-$600
Associates $125-$325

Bradley, Arant, Rose & White (181)
(Birmingham, Ala.)
Partners $205-$365
Associates $150-$275

Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione (138)
(Chicago)
Partners $295-$500
Associates $165-$290

Bryan Cave (841)
(St. Louis)
Partners $225-$720
Associates $135-$410

Buchalter, Nemer, Fields & Younger (137)
(Los Angeles)
Partners $310-$450
Associates $160-$350

Buchanan Ingersoll (382)
(Pittsburgh)
Partners $225-$720
Associates $135-$360

Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs (135)
(Akron, Ohio)
Partners $205-$360
Associates $135-$260

Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis (97)
(Alexandria, Va.)
Partners $300-$550
Associates $175-$300

Burr & Forman (169)
(Birmingham, Ala.)
Partners $205-$365
Associates $140-$225

Butzel Long (204)
(Detroit)
Partners $205-$380
Associates $135-$215

Cades Schutte Fleming & Wright (59)
(Honolulu)
Partners $185-$325
Associates $135-$205

Carlton Fields (211)
(Tampa, Fla.)
Partners $230-$400
Associates $130-$270

Case Bigelow & Lombardi (30)
(Honolulu)
Partners $210-$340
Associates $125-$210

Choate, Hall & Stewart (159)
(Boston)
Partners $375-$575
Associates $195-$345

Cooley Godward (560)
(Palo Alto, Calif.)
Partners $330-$600
Associates $190-$425

Covington & Burling (522)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $325-$600
Associates $160-$390

Cozen O'Connor (440)
(Philadelphia)
Partners $185-$450
Associates $120-$325

Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May (237)
(Oakland, Calif.)
Partners $234-$454
Associates $170-$320

Cummings & Lockwood (171)
(Stamford, Conn.)
Partners $250-$450
Associates $155-$290

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle (168)
(New York)
Partners $420-$625
Associates $180-$435

Davis Graham & Stubbs (97)
(Denver)
Partners $200-$425
Associates $125-$210

Davis Wright Tremaine (389)
(Seattle)
Partners $225-$525
Associates $130-$270

Day, Berry & Howard (231)
(Hartford, Conn.)
Partners $275-$450
Associates $160-$330

Dickinson Wright (200)
(Detroit)
Partners $215-$410
Associates $130-$210

Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky (311)
(Washington, D.C.)

Partners $350-$550
Associates $180-$340

Dinsmore & Shohl (254)
(Cincinnati)
Partners $190-$345
Associates $125-$235

Dow, Lohnes & Albertson (147)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $310-$600
Associates $160-$335

Drinker Biddle & Reath (433)
(Philadelphia)
Partners $280-$450
Associates $145-$275

Duane Morris (492)
(Philadelphia)
Partners $174.86-$523.47
Associates $146.97-$394.36

Dykema Gossett (252)
(Detroit)
Partners $210-$380
Associates $140-$240

E   F   G

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott (193)
(Pittsburgh)
Partners $220-$425
Associates $135-$240

Edwards & Angell (290)
(Boston)
Partners $300-$550
Associates $140-$300

Epstein Becker & Green (333)
(New York)
Partners $220-$540
Associates $150-$350

Fish & Richardson (279)
(Boston)
Partners $350-$500
Associates $185-$360

Foster Pepper & Shefelman (106)
(Seattle)
Partners $225-$400
Associates $140-$250

Foulston Siefkin (73)
(Wichita, Kan.)
Partners $145-$300
Associates $100-$155

Fowler White Boggs Banker (180)
(Tampa, Fla.)
Partners $175-$350
Associates $125-$225

Gardere Wynne Sewell (288)
(Dallas)
Partners $250-$550
Associates $130-$320

Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione (160)
(Newark, N.J.)
Partners $235-$600
Associates $145-$265

Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (402)
(Palo Alto, Calif.)
Partners $310-$620
Associates $195-$345

Greenebaum Doll & McDonald (172)
(Louisville, Ky.)
Partners $190-$365
Associates $130-$205

Greenberg Glusker (104)
(Los Angeles)
Partners $325-$850
Associates $210-$325

Greenberg Traurig (878)
(Miami)
Partners $250-$800
Associates $150-$375

H - K

Haight, Brown & Bonesteel (91)
(Los Angeles)
Partners $200-$300
Associates $115-$175

Hale and Dorr (490)
(Boston)
Partners $350-$675
Associates $230-$395

Haynes and Boone (468)
(Dallas)
Partners $265-$500
Associates $125-$330

Hodgson Russ (189)
(Buffalo, N.Y.)
Partners $200-$475
Associates $110-$320

Hogan & Hartson (937)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $230-$750
Associates $90-$405

Holland & Knight (1,273)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $200-$575
Associates $145-$365

Holme Roberts & Owen (188)
(Denver)
Partners $215-$525
Associates $145-$275

Hughes Hubbard & Reed (282)
(New York)
Partners $375-$625
Associates $175-$415

Husch & Eppenberger (278)
(St. Louis)
Partners $160-$340
Associates $115-$185

Jackson Lewis (351)
(White Plains, N.Y.)
Partners $245-$450
Associates $150-$350

Jenkens & Gilchrist (573)
(Dallas)
Partners $275-$525
Associates $165-$380

Jenner & Block (390)
(Chicago)
Partners $350-$625
Associates $185-$350

Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre (217)
(New Orleans)
Partners $170-$335
Associates $110-$185

Kelley Drye & Warren (358)
(New York)
Partners $300-$590
Associates $180-$375

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (285)
(New York)
Partners $440-$625
Associates $210-$440

L   M   N

Lane Powell Spears Lubersky (175)
(Seattle)
Partners $225-$380
Associates $175-$260

Lewis, Rice & Fingersh (170)
(St. Louis)
Partners $160-$355
Associates $110-$270

Littler Mendelson (395)
(San Francisco)
Partners $220-$440
Associates $135-$350

Locke Liddell & Sapp (408)
(Houston)
Partners $300-$595
Associates $150-$340

Loeb & Loeb (175)
(Los Angeles)
Partners $350-$650
Associates $185-$325

Lord, Bissell & Brook (325)
(Chicago)
Partners $165-$510
Associates $140-$285

Lowenstein Sandler (193)
(Roseland, N.J.)
Partners $285-$525
Associates $140-$295

Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps (202)
(San Diego)
Partners $310-$500
Associates $150-$300

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips (244)
(Los Angeles)
Partners $375-$600
Associates $200-$355

Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin (298)
(Philadelphia)
Partners $130-$255
Associates $115-$180

Matthews and Branscomb (51)
(San Antonio)
Partners $175-$325
Associates $125-$195

McCarter & English (270)
(Newark, N.J.)
Partners $250-$495
Associates $140-$285

McGuireWoods (559)
(Richmond, Va.)
Partners $210-$575
Associates $85-$325

Michael Best & Friedrich (349)
(Milwaukee)
Partners $180-$425
Associates $180-$240

Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone (301)
(Detroit)
Partners $220-$475
Associates $125-$230

Miller & Chevalier (123)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $320-$650
Associates $175-$340

Miller Nash (140)
(Portland, Ore.)
Partners $210-$350
Associates $125-$225

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough (282)
(Columbia, S.C.)
Partners $200-$390
Associates $145-$270

Nutter, McClennen & Fish (170)
(Boston)
Partners $330-$480
Associates $175-$300

O - R

Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel (110)
(Philadelphia)
Partners $300-$475
Associates $145-$325

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart (162)
(Atlanta)
Partners $200-$450
Associates $170-$265

Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly (246)
(Minneapolis)
Partners $225-$500
Associates $125-$375

Patton Boggs (366)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $235-$700
Associates $180-$315

Pennie & Edmonds (233)
(New York)
Partners $365-$500
Associates $190-$360

Pepper Hamilton (389)
(Philadelphia)
Partners $245-$525
Associates $150-$295

Perkins Coie (565)
(Seattle)
Partners $160-$650
Associates $135-$415

Phelps Dunbar (233)
(New Orleans)
Partners $145-$300
Associates $110-$175

Phillips, Lytle, Hitchcock, Blaine & Huber (171)
(Buffalo, N.Y)
Partners $185-$350
Associates $105-$265

Piper Rudnick (794)
(Chicago)
Partners $295-$615
Associates $140-$405

Pitney, Hardin, Kipp & Szuch (195)
(Morristown, N.J.)
Partners $280-$450
Associates $155-$290

Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy (290)
(Atlanta)
Partners $265-$515
Associates $160-$300

Preston Gates & Ellis (386)
(Seattle)
Partners $180-$500
Associates $120-$410

Reed Smith (739)
(Pittsburgh)
Partners $240-$620
Associates $100-$435

Robinson & Cole (202)
(Hartford, Conn.)
Partners $260-$500
Associates $150-$300

Ross & Hardies (181)
(Chicago)
Partners $260-$465
Associates $160-$290

Rutan & Tucker (123)
(Costa Mesa, Calif.)
Partners $250-$425
Associates $165-$275

S - W

Saul Ewing (228)
(Philadelphia)
Partners $250-$475
Associates $145-$265

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis (301)
(Philadelphia)
Partners $220-$465
Associates $135-$285

Seyfarth Shaw (505)
(Chicago)
Partners $260-$600
Associates $160-$265

ShawPittman (407)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $315-$576
Associates $170-$325

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (336)
(Los Angeles)
Partners $305-$525
Associates $170-$295

Shipman & Goodwin (137)
(Hartford, Conn.)
Partners $235-$360
Associates $140-$230

Sills Cummis Radin Tischman Epstein & Gross (155)
(Newark, N.J.)
Partners $290-$500
Associates $125-$290

Smith, Gambrell & Russell (177)
(Atlanta)
Partners $185-$465
Associates $130-$350

Steel Hector & Davis (195)
(Miami)
Partners $240-$600
Associates $175-$280

Stites & Harbison (213)
(Louisville, Ky.)
Partners $175-$325
Associates $105-$190

Stoel Rives (364)
(Portland, Ore.)
Partners $210-$400
Associates $140-$340

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young (145)
(Philadelphia)
Partners $200-$465
Associates $140-$250

Strasburger & Price (224)
(Dallas)
Partners $190-$450
Associates $155-$250

Sughrue Mion (94)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $300-$450
Associates $200-$350

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan (356)
(Atlanta)
Partners $275-$545
Associates $160-$280

Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman (298)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $310-$590
Associates $170-$380

Thelen Reid & Priest (440)
(New York)
Partners $315-$575
Associates $165-$390

Thompson Coburn (280)
(St. Louis)
Partners $190-$400
Associates $105-$220

Thompson & Knight (333)
(Dallas)
Partners $260-$475
Associates $155-$250

Thorp Reed & Armstrong (103)
(Pittsburgh)
Partners $210-$390
Associates $175-$230

Townsend and Townsend and Crew (151)
(San Francisco)
Partners $415-$525
Associates $265-$355

Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kammholz (213)
(Chicago)
Partners $270-$495
Associates $165-$290

Venable (448)
(Baltimore)
Partners $250-$670
Associates $165-$310

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease (353)
(Columbus, Ohio)
Partners $235-$400
Associates $125-$250

Wiley, Rein & Fielding (221)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $300-$525
Associates $160-$290

Williams & Connolly (211)
(Washington, D.C.)
Partners $350-$600
Associates $185-$330

Williams Mullen (237)
(Richmond, Va.)
Partners $185-$370
Associates $125-$225

Winstead Sechrest & Minick (333)
(Dallas)
Partners $250-$540
Associates $145-$300

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice (437)
(Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Partners $190-$500
Associates $125-$265

Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs (201)
(Louisville, Ky.)
Partners $150-$310
Associates $100-$190
(The National Law Journal, December 2002)


Despite It All, Rates Rose at Many Firms
Steve Seidenberg -- The National Law Journal -- 12-03-2001
What goes up doesn't always come down. Despite the weakening economy, law firm billing rates continue to rise, according to data gathered as part of The National Law Journal's 2001 survey of the nation's 250 largest law firms. These rate increases, however, appear to be generally a bit lower than last year's.
 

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