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Report: Varied Billing Rates Could Provide Bargaining Chip
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A report set to be released this Fall could give general counsel an “enormous amount of bargaining power” in their billing rate negotiations with law firms, the Corporate Counsel reports.

The “Real Rate Report” by CT TyMetrix and The Corporate Executive Board shows firms’ charge a wide range of rates to different clients for nearly identical work. While that fact certainly comes as no surprise, as Corporate Counsel duly notes, the wide range of prices that were actually charged could give clients a “powerful” bargaining chip in billing rates.

“It will give general counsel an enormous amount of bargaining power,” Julie Peck, vice president of corporate strategy and market development at CT TyMetrixPeck, told Corporate Counsel in a report reprinted at Law.com.

  
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“What that tells you is that there’s a significant amount of pricing elasticity in the market, and that negotiations can be very powerful.”

The report, based on an analysis of $4 billion in law firm billings, is slated for a September release. It surveys billable hours for 3,448 partners, associates and paralegals and finds that more than 75 percent charged different hourly rates for similar work. Corporate Counsel reports the largest rate differences of between $350 an hour to $1,000 a single person charges did open some eyes.

Other findings in the report show that while law firm partners charged corporate clients up to $1,590 an hour in 2009, the median partner rate of $340 an hour “is significantly lower than reported” in most other surveys.

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