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Study Finds Hourly Billing Rates Increased in 2011

According to a recent study conducted by the Daily Report, hourly billing continues to be the most common billing model on legal invoices. Additionally, hourly rates of partners and associates increased in 2011.

The Daily Report collected approximately 6,000 hourly rates from 2011. A majority of these rates were collected from Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in five U.S. bankruptcy courts, including the Southern District of New York and the District of Delaware.

The study revealed that the average hourly rate for partners and senior counsel in 2011 increased to $661. In 2010, the hourly rates for this group averaged $639. The average national rate for associates was $445, compared with $439 in 2010.

“Certainly hourly rates were alive and well in 2011. And, although the average cost for an hour’s counsel has not increased at the same pace as gasoline and eggs, rates have continued to sneak upward past many indicators, even during the Great Recession of 2009,” the article states.

The publication explained that the rates are a “snap shot” of the hourly rates charged by attorneys in 2011. “Because the U.S. bankruptcy code requires that lawyers attest to their usual and customary hourly billing rates, we view them as reliable.”

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