Published December 2020
The latest iteration of Latin Lawyer's fees survey considers the adjustments law firms have made to their billing practices because of the covid-19 crisis, as well as the more fundamental changes to the ways firms deliver and charge for their services that we could see going forward.
The covid-19 pandemic and the social and economic upheaval it has brought with it can be blamed for a lot of things. The falling value of law firm hourly rates is not one of them. A survey of nearly 100 law firms shows average rates per hour for partners and associates were falling well before the onset of pandemic-related economic disruption.
The average hourly rate charged by Latin American law firms is falling. Data suggests this was the case even before the onset of the economic crisis induced by covid-19, particularly for associate rates. As firms consider creative means to serve challenged clients, prices are likely to reduce even further.
In shining a spotlight on issues that have been bubbling under the surface for years, the covid-19 pandemic and the pressure it puts on client appetite for costly legal services is a chance for progressive law firms to rethink entirely how they value what they do. In doing so, they can remodel themselves into organisations of the future.