Survey: ‘Does your law firm plan to raise rates in 2023?’

Interesting take-out from a recent survey undertaken by the Managing Partner Forum (MPF) to the question:

“Does Your Firm Plan to Raise Rates in 2023?”

to which the results were:

  • Twenty-four percent (24%) of participating firm leaders said their firms plan to increase rates by 10% or more.
  • Forty-one percent (41%) said they were raising rates by 5-9% on average per time-keeper.

My take on this:

  • 35% will be looking to raise their rates by between 1-4%; or
  • 35% had recently just raised their rates (probably by a lot more than 10%) and feel they cannot raise rates again so soon; or
  • 100% of respondents are too afraid to answer the question honestly.

I’ll leave it to you to decide.

As usual, comments are my own.


The £600 an hour baby gorilla

According to a post in the Law Society Gazette, which in turn quotes from Jim Diamond’s new book ‘The Legal Extortion Racket‘, partners at Magic Circle firms in 2007 charged clients, on average, between £625-£700 an hour.

If that’s not scary, then it is impressive.

An hour of that partner’s time today would set you back somewhere between  £1,000 and £1,500.

We could probably call it and say that’s law’s version of ‘Moore’s Law‘.

But while we all might agree that’s an impressive, if not scary, number – if that’s your want or need you are, after all, getting an hour of a partner’s time. You’d have to imagine said partner would know a thing or two (otherwise how did they get to be a partner in a Magic Circle firm?) and get you the result you want. You may, at a stretch, even be able to argue that said partner works more efficiently than partners in other [non-Magic Circle] firms because they have done the rounds on big ticket matters and know a little about what they are talking about.

All of which could be perfectly true and fair.

So you let it go and turn your attention to another stat in the article quoting Diamond’s book:

Newly qualified lawyers at magic circle firms and US firms in London charge up to £600 an hour

To be clear, what we are talking about here is a ‘newly qualified lawyer‘ who most likely has a rudimentary understanding of the law at best, no idea what ‘utilisation‘ and ‘realisation‘ are, but by now will certainly know very well what a time-sheet is and how important that is to getting his/her/their bonus, charging clients £600 an hour!

That gives me a nose-bled just thinking about it.

For those who follow the hourly rate discussion, Diamond’s table makes for fascinating reading…

Photo credit  Dixon Newman on Unsplash