August 13, 2008
WilmerHale gets woodsheded for excessive fees
Posted by David Zaring

Superactive District Court Judge Royce Lamberth has just slashed WilmerHale's fees on a big qui tam case (they got a $90 million verdict, sought $20 million in fees, and got circa $7 million) with verve:

  • Wilmer won, but with too many lawyers on board, apparently: "by no rational definition of the term do fifty-two attorneys constitute a ‘small’ team of lawyers."
  • Wilmer also billed their juniors out a bit too high - higher than your average Biglaw DC firm: "Wilmer Hale’s established billing rates are ‘reasonable’ precisely because they align with those of other highly skilled attorneys in the District of Columbia legal community. Simply put, these superstars already bill at superstar rates."

Heh.  But given the rates big law firms like Wilmer need to charge, playing the court approved fee game is pretty difficult.  I actually know the lawyers involved in this case, and think the world of them, but you can see if you agree with Judge Lamberth here. HT: Legal Times

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