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For patent services, the bigger the firm the higher the hourly rate

“According to the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s 2007 Report of the Economic Survey, the average billing rates for intellectual property attorneys at firms of greater than one hundred attorneys was more than 27% higher, on average, than at firms of less than twenty attorneys.” Vincent J. Allen, Dallas, Texas at Carstens & Cahoon passed on this finding on his Lone Star IP Blog on June 3, 2009. Thanks to Greg Bufithis of the Posse List for pointing this post out.

Billing rates and size correlate positively (See my post of Sept. 10, 2005: rates correlated to size of firm; Jan. 3, 2007: the effect of increased overhead on rates; March 24, 2007: overhead costs rise with size of firm; Oct. 25, 2007: correlation of rates to firm size.). The reasons include higher overhead at bigger firms; deeper pocket clients who will pay; signaling functions; better lawyers who can command higher fees; brand premium; status that accompanies high rates; complexity of legal problems presented. We need some empirical research.