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ALM Media Cites NALFA Hourly Rate Survey

March 11, 2020 | Posted in : Billing Rate Survey, Fee Data / Analytics, Hourly Rates / Hourly Billing, NALFA News

ALM Media Properties LLC covers a recent NALFA survey, The 2020 Class Action Hourly Rate Survey in its recent Critical Mass newsletter, Critical Mass: Coronavirus Cancels MDL Program at Duke Law, Where Professor's Death Has Shocked the Mass Torts Bar. A Survey Probes Hourly Rates in Class Actions, On Both Sides,” by Amanda Bronstad.  The ALM newsletter sites NALFA’s class action hourly rate survey data.  The newsletter reads:

In Class Actions, Do Defense or Plaintiffs Lawyers Charge More?

Attorney fees in class actions are a hot topic, with both sides of the “v” often remarking that the other charges higher rates.  Turns out, they’re about the same.  That’s according to the National Association of Legal Fee Analysis, which released a first-ever survey this month about the hourly rates that class action lawyers charge.

For the 2020 Class Action Hourly Rate Survey, NALFA emailed “hundreds of thousands” of attorneys, in the nation’s 16 largest legal markets over a two-month period, according to Terry Jesse, NALFA’s executive director.

The findings: 95% of all class actions fall within the $200-$1,200 hourly rate range for both defense and plaintiffs’ counsel at partner and associate levels.  Partners for 20 years or more, on both sides, charged between $801 and $900 per hour, while partners with 16 to 19 years of practice charged hourly rates of $701 to $800 for plaintiffs and $601 to $700 for defendants.

Jesse told me:

“We thought that plaintiffs rates would be higher because they’re taking on more risk than defense lawyers are.  We assumed, yes, plaintiff rates would be higher.  We were surprised that defense rates were keeping pace with the plaintiffs’ rates, at both the partner and associate level.”