By Brian Lovelace
With outsized billing rates making even mainstream news reports—a Kirkland & Ellis partner’s $1,745 hourly rate in the Toys R Us bankruptcy recently caught the attention of The New York Times—there’s no question clients are watching the numbers closely.
But are they balking? It depends who you ask.
, managing partner of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s
D.C. office, said the strong economy in 2017 “absolutely” emboldened firms to raise billing rates, but the rate of billing growth isn’t quite back to its pre-recession levels.
Lowe said the recession shifted how clients view their role in determining rates, and many clients have become more sensitive. A vast majority of cases involve a discussion of what the rates are going to be, Lowe said, leading to firms deciding to set artificially high rack rates.