Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Report Finds Nearly 75 Percent of Lawyers Increased Their Fees During the Downturn

/PRNewswire/ -- Corporate Executive Board (CEB) (NYSE:EXBD) , a leading research and advisory services company, today announced the release of the Real Rate Report(TM), an analysis of over $4.1 billion in legal billing fees. The report is produced jointly by CEB's Legal and Compliance Practice and CT TyMetrix and helps general counsel make better-informed business decisions by providing an objective look at invoice data to understand and quantify what is driving the billable hour.

"The Real Rate Report(TM) responds to companies' need for actual legal cost information to assist in planning, budgeting, and negotiating with their outside law firms," said Steven Williams, managing director, Corporate Executive Board. "The report is a great addition to the broader set of services we provide to CEB's more than 1,000 member legal departments to help them reduce legal costs and drive corporate performance."

Key findings of the Real Rate Report(TM) include:

The five most important factors driving law firm rates
-- Lawyer location, law firm size, experience level, partner status, and
key practice area are the top factors impacting hourly rates today.
-- Hourly rates are influenced significantly more by a lawyer's
geographic locale and law firm size than by that lawyer's experience
or practice area.

Geographic rate disparities
-- Large, tier one markets have seen smaller percentage rate increases
than some other markets--specifically in Southern cities.
-- Smaller metropolitan areas, such as Denver, St. Louis, and Raleigh,
remain relatively inexpensive compared to large markets such as like
New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

Partner vs. associate rate increases
-- Between 2007 and 2009, associates had the largest percentage increase
in hourly rates - 16.6 percent -- compared to 8.6 percent by partners.
-- Associates with fewer than three years of experience had the highest
percentage increase -- 17.9 percent.

"The Real Rate Report(TM) is a ground-breaking resource for all law firms and corporate law departments looking for pricing data to build aligned, mutually beneficial partnering models," said John Weber, general manager, CT TyMetrix. "We are proud of this report, as well as the other CT TyMetrix's innovations that enable law firms and law departments to optimize their legal operations."

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