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Washington, DC Remains Nation’s Highest Billing Rate City

January 30, 2023 | Posted in : Fee / Rate Economics, Fee Data / Fee Analytics, Fees by Tiers / Scale, Hourly Rate Survey, Hourly Rates, Litigation Economics, NALFA News, Study / Report

The old adage in real estate that it's all about location, location, location may also apply to hourly rates in litigation.  NALFA released the results from its annual hourly rate survey of civil litigation in the U.S.  The results, published in the 2022 Litigation Hourly Rate Survey & Report, contains billing rate data on the factors that correlate to hourly rates in litigation: geography, years of litigation experience, position or title, complexity of case, and law firm size.

This empirical survey and report provides macro and micro data of defense and plaintiffs' rates in regular and complex litigation, at various litigation experience levels, from large law firms to solo shops, and in the nation's largest markets.  This is the nation's largest and most comprehensive survey or study of hourly billing rates in civil litigation.  Over 16,600 qualified litigators, both defense and plaintiffs' counsel, from across the U.S. participated in this hourly rate survey.

For the third year in a row, the nation's top litigation billing rate city is Washington, DC.  When we aggregate all the responses from Washington, DC, 23 percent of the responses fall within Tier 4 rates ($901-Over $1100), the highest percentage of the 24 cities in the billing rate survey.  Only 10 percent of DC litigators fall within Tier 1 rates (Less Than $200-$400), the lowest percentage of cities and slightly over two-thirds of all DC litigation rates fall within Tier 2 rates ($401-$650) and Tier 3 rates ($651-$900).