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Associate Billing Rates Increased by Law Firms
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The Valeo Halftime Report; published by the Valeo Partners, a consulting firm from Washington, D.C., shows that hourly billing rates for associates across the country have increased in the past year. The rates have risen by 7.5 percent on average while rates for partners have risen only 3.4 percent and rates for counsel have raised only 3.6 percent during the same time. The firm scours public documents to find hourly rates and fees across the country.

For New York law firms, rate changes were roughly the same. Associate rates rose by 8 percent on average from $512 to $551. Partner rates rose by 3 percent on average to $893. Counsel rates rose by 4 percent on average to $725. Valeo, in its report, said that the increase in the hourly rates is the highest in the past couple of years. In 2011, hourly rates for associates in New York rose on average 5.32 percent and 1.45 percent in 2010. Chuck Chandler, the head of Valeo’s legal consulting practice, said that law firms deferred the rate increases for associates in 2008. “This is pretty much catch-up for the law firms as well as a retention strategy,” he said. Chandler also said that associate billing rate increases occurred for all levels of experience and classes.

  
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Valeo used data from roughly 550 law firms to calculate the figures. The firm compared the average rates in 2011 with the average rates in 2012 for the same lawyers. Valeo used 30 sources that are public documents to compile the data and figures.



 

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