Law.com reports that associate billing rates at big law firms has surged past $1,000/hour. The article begins as follows:
The coronavirus pandemic quickly upended the economy and sent already struggling companies into free-fall, with retailers such as J.Crew, Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney among those filing for Chapter 11 protection in recent weeks.
Recent court filings highlight the avalanche of fees these new cases are already generating for Big Law restructuring practices.
Take J.Crew, which was the first major retailer to succumb during the pandemic. In the 90 days leading up to the company’s Chapter 11 petition May 4, it paid or advanced its lawyers at Weil, Gotshal & Manges close to $12 million, according to court papers filed this week seeking formally to hire the firm as debtor’s counsel. The Weil team is led by New York partner and restructuring practice co-chair Ray Schrock.
The fees were bolstered by the firm having just recently increased its hourly rate for lawyers and paraprofessionals alike. Signaling a new era, some Weil associates are now billing more than $1,000 per hour—a milestone that was surpassed only about a decade ago at the level of Big Law partners—making it one of the first firms to break that pricey barrier.
To see full article, click: Associate Hourly Billing Rates Surge Past $1K as Firms Snap Up Bankruptcy Work | Law.com
Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.