Categories:UK

Magic circle defies downturn as top billers bump up hourly rates

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Billing: Acceptable For Clients?

    I have been associated with the legal sector for 20 years and the same model for billing - with some variations - still prevails. With the current crisis unfolding with, as yet, undetermined consequences for clients ability to pay, it is incumbent for law firms to be more responsive as to how they are going to bill for their time and still make a profitable return.

    They had better get their thinking caps on very quickly, as the economic situation is going to look very different in another six to nine months. The pressure will come primarily from clients and more innovative, flexible firms some of whom could well be domiciled overseas. Be warned.

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  • Alternative Reality

    Increasing billable rates in a time of severe economic downturn...yet further evidence that too many law firms are out of touch with commercial reality? or maybe it's just opportunistic exploitation...

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  • These hourly rates are aspirational

    Although I agree with the sentiment that you should charge what you are worth, that certain avenues of law are worth more now than they were a year ago and that clients are seeking to gain better value from their legal providers, this survey provides little value to those running law firms.

    Had the survey sought to look at recovered rates and the difference between them and headline rates, readers could have deduced the impact the credit crunch is having on profitability. A further source of value would have come from an analysis of trends in write-off and discountings.

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  • Cowards

    That the magic circle can still get away with charging this amount of money reflects the cowardice and/or blame culture affecting GCs.

    There is a large number of firms available to do the majority of work that is presently done by the magic circle at much cheaper rates, but GCs don't use those firms because a) they want the reassurance of a 'heavy hitter' firm because they don't trust their own judgement, b) because they want to be able to tell their paymasters that they hired the best if anything goes wrong afterwards, c) because their paymasters don't trust their judgement either, or d) some combination of the previous three scenarios.

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