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Odd gaps between average billing rates of U.S. litigation associates and partners

TyMetrix has produced the “Litigation Rate Snapshot,” based on its LegalVIEW data warehouse of billing and matter information. Covering $15 billion in fees submitted by 147,000 individual U.S. billers, a table shows average rates paid associates and partners in five industry groups. For three of them (Finance, Investments and Banking; Manufacturing; and Retail), the increment from associate to partner rate is about $100 an hour.

For Insurance and Health Care, both rates are noticeably lower than those paid by the other industry groups and the associate-to-partner gap is half as much. Reversing that, for Technology and Telecommunications the average rates are considerably higher and the gap is nearly twice as much, $200.

Now, draw on some other metrics. In the Fifth Release of the GC Metrics benchmark survey, external spend as a percentage of revenue for Manufacturing (112 companies, about 60% US) is twice that of Retail (44 companies), yet the TyMetrix average litigation rates are nearly the same. Since litigation accounts for 50-70 percent of all external spend, these two streams of data suggest Manufacturing companies face twice as much litigation expense as Retail companies. That sounds right.