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Legal Fees On the Rise -- and Why Is That a Surprise?

This News Flash from Monsters and Critics reports on something that shouldn't come as much of a surprise: Law department expenses increased by almost 8 percent in FY 2005. From the story:

The newly released 2006 Altman Weil Law Department Metrics Benchmarking Survey, published in partnership with LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, reports that total law department expenses in all companies surveyed averaged $914,229 per lawyer, up 7.9 percent in fiscal year 2005.  Fees paid to outside lawyers rose 5.5 percent to $602,070 per lawyer on average for all law departments nationwide.  Fees for running an in-house legal department rose to an average of $332,823 per lawyer, a 2.6-percent increase over the prior year. Lawyer compensation and benefits, the biggest internal expenditure, averaged $258,205 per lawyer.

Though the firms paying out $145,000 in salaries would like us to believe that law firm partners are absorbing the increase in associate salaries, stories like this one make clear what most of us already figured out: It's the clients who are paying the cost.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on September 22, 2006 at 06:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

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