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Annual average increases in outside-counsel hourly rates

During each of the three years 2004-06, the hourly rates of US outside counsel increased on average 5.6 percent. Specifically, they rose 6 percent in 2006, 5.2 percent in 2005, and 5.7 percent in 2004, according to the 2007 ACC/Serengeti Managing Outside Counsel Survey. The report dryly notes that “in-house counsel have consistently underestimated the increase in hourly rates for the coming year” (See my post of Nov. 24, 2005: rate hikes tied to increases in the Consumer Price Index.).

It is not clear from the brief mention of these facts in the ACC Docket, Vol. 26, Jan./Feb. 2008 at 20, whether these increases are in official billing rates or effective billing rates (See my post of Feb. 23, 2008: unbalanced focus on high billing rates.).