Associate rates outpacing partners survey reveals

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Associate rates outpacing partners survey reveals
Legal fees are continuing to rise with average rates for lawyers at their highest level since the global financial crisis in 2008.

US legal management technology firm Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions analyzed data from law firm invoices to discover rate trends and the drivers of billable hours with some interesting results.

The report shows that law firm size is the single largest driver of law firm rates with larger firms maintaining pricing power as rates rise.

It also found that rates are rising faster for associate-level lawyers compared to partners. Partners saw an annual rise of 3.6 per cent while associates’ rates grew 7.3 per cent. However, first year associate rates in 2016 were flat.

Talent, diversity leadership roles announced at international firm
International firm Dechert has appointed Alison Nina Bernard as its chief talent officer; and Satra Sampson-Arokium as its director of diversity & inclusion.

Bernard will oversee all aspects of the Firm’s attorney recruiting, professional development, and diversity and inclusion programs. Sampson-Arokium will work closely with Bernard to serve globally as an advocate for diversity, inclusion and equity.

Reed Smith hires Olswang team for IP expansion
Global law firm Reed Smith has continued its strategic expansion in Germany with the addition of a team from Olswang for its IP, Information and Innovation.

The Munich-based team is headed by partner Dr Andreas Splittgerber who specializes in digital media and entertainment, IT law, outsourcing and data protection.

Trump lawyers claim immunity from defamation case because he’s president
Lawyers for President Trump say that he should not face a defamation suit filed by a former contestant on his TV show The Apprentice. They argue that Trump is immune from being sued in a state court while in office.

The case against President Trump follows allegations of sexual harassment made by Summer Zervos. He responded to her claims on Twitter during his election campaign denying their validity and, Ms. Zervos says, defaming her in the process. She filed her lawsuit days before the presidential inauguration.

With dozens of lawsuits pending against the president, any ruling could have wider consequences.