Simpson Thacher hikes charge-out rates

The New York office of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has increased its charge-out rate for top performing partners to $1,000 an hour.

Key partners at the firm, such as head of litigation Barry Ostrager, litigation partner Kevin Arquit and M&A partner Richard Beattie, will now charge clients approximately 10 per cent more than their previously rate of $900 an hour.

With other firms such as Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson taking similar action recently, there is speculation in the market that the firms have been forced to increase rates in response to escalating costs including higher associate salaries.

Earlier this year (29 January) The Lawyer reported on Simpson Thacher’s 10 per cent salary hike for associates. It was the first US firm this year to announce an increase in associate salaries to hit $160,000.

Fellow US firms Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Sullivan & Cromwell all matched Simpson Thatcher’s increase later that month.

Simpson Thacher declined to comment.