An interesting little footnote on the hourly rate emerges from litigation over an ex-Clifford Chance partner (Martin Rogers) between US law firm Davis Polk and Alan Metz, a headhunter according to the Lawyer.
The point which caught my eye, picked up also by a Lawyer commenter Oxford Lawyer, is here:
“In the telephone conversation on 18 June 2012, Rogers gave Metz confidential information about his practice, including detailing his personal billings of HK$75m-100m (£6.4m-7m) and his supervised billings for his practice of HK$200m (£17.4m), as well as his personal billing rate of HK$9,500 (£773) per hour, according to the filing.”
Now assuming a) this information is correct; b) personal billings refer to his own billings rather than those of his team; and c) this refers to billings over one year, then this particular partner’s personal bills are the equivalent of working 7,900 to 10,500 hours at that hourly rate. I think this is what the costs gurus may refer to as value billing. 7,900 hours works out at 22 hours per day and 10,500 at 29,000 a day for 365 days a year. On top of that there the time necessary to supervise all those other billings.
Either my assumptions are incorrect, these figures are incorrect or we witness the first bionic lawyer; slipping through a space time continuum perhaps to create extra hours in the day. Even assuming some variation in the hourly rate, or work done other than on an hourly basis (say a contingency basis) these figures seem high. Perhaps someone can enlighten me?
Postscript: a comment on the Lawyer story says this, “I think his personal billings of HK$75m-100m (£6.4m-7m) refer to his billing and the billings of the associates on matters which he is the billing partner. £6m-7m sounds about right to me. His supervised billings for his practice is the billing for the whole team including other litigation partners.”