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Survey: Class Action Defense Rates Keep Pace with Plaintiffs’ Rates in 2020

March 4, 2020 | Posted in : Fee Data / Fee Analytics, Fee Expert / Member, Fee Scholarship, Hourly Rate Survey, Hourly Rates, Lodestar, NALFA News, Practice Area: Class Action / Mass Tort / MDL, Study / Report

Defense rates keep pace with plaintiffs’ rates in class action litigation at partner and associate levels in 2020.  That’s just one of the findings from a recent survey, The 2020 Class Action Hourly Rate Survey, conducted by the National Association of Legal Fee Analysis (NALFA).  This billing rate survey, conducted via email over a two month period, asked class action litigators from the nation’s 16 largest legal markets if their current regular hourly rate falls within a given range.

The NALFA survey shows that 95 percent of all class actions fall within the $200-$1,200 hourly rate range for both defense and plaintiffs’ counsel at partner and associate levels.  In short, only 5 percent of class action hourly rates are less than $200 and over $1,200.  Thus, nearly all class action hourly rates fall within a $1,000 hourly rate statistical variance.

This survey is the first in a series of hourly rate surveys that NALFA will be conducting in specific practice areas in 2020.  NALFA also conducts custom hourly rate surveys for clients such as law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies.  NALFA surveys provide the most accurate and current hourly rate ranges within a given geography and practice area.

“This survey data may be the nation’s first and only quantitative class action hourly rate data of its kind,” said Terry Jesse, NALFA Executive Director.  With more class action hourly rate data to follow, here are some of the top-level findings from NALFA’s 2020 Class Action Hourly Rate Survey: