New Pricing Report Shows AmLaw-100 Still in Control of Pricing
A corporate counsel pricing report for 2014 published by Valeo Partners, LLC, found that through 2012 and 2013, large law firms, principally the AmLaw 100, remained in control of their pricing and maintained premium rates. The report also found that smaller firms, those not within AmLaw 200, actually experienced rate declines. The report found that the key factors that influenced pricing continued to be size of the law firm, location and practice area.
The report, titled "The 2014 Corporate Counsel Legal Services Pricing Guide" claims to be a resource for companies for determining optimal pricing arrangements with outside counsel with respect to hourly rates or alternative fee arrangements.
Associates in most law firms, according to the report, achieved their highest rate increases in 2013 continuing the trend of 2012, as a result of "compensation catch-up." The report mentions that associates did not find any significant rate increases from 2008 to 2011, and the significant increase in associate rates was to compensate for that dissociation with market reality.
The report also found that attorneys in New York
, Northern California
and Washington DC
charged more than attorneys in other large cities. Additionally, rates differed according to practice area of law with M&A, Tax and intellectual property carrying higher rates than most other practice areas, with similar or even greater demand like Employment, Finance litigation and Insurance law. One of the reasons for finance and insurance litigation failing to draw higher rates was attributed to commoditization of such services following the huge amount of defense work concurrent with the recession and collapse of financial institutions.
The report provides pricing guides for dealing with almost all law firms included in the AmLaw 200 and some large global law firms. Law firms like WilmerHale, Winston Strawn, White & Case, Squire Sanders, Proskeur, Perkins Coie, Mintz Levin, Milbank, Jones Day
, Brown Rudnick, Boies Schiller, Baker McKenzie, Allen & Overy, and Akerman are covered.
As a pricing guide for working with outside counsel law firm, the report has provided information headed under different categories. Besides its claim to help corporate counsel determine their fee arrangements with outside counsel, it might also help small law firms to have a better idea of the market. Categories of information of interest to smaller entities include "rates and projections by key practice areas," "rates and projections by city," "rates and projections by associate class years by firm annual revenue groups," "rates and projections by annual firm revenue," and "individual firm detail rates and projections."
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