The Florida Bar’s “Results of the 2016 Economics and Law Office Management Survey” found that over three-quarters (81%) of respondents list their hourly rate as being over $200, while over one-third (36%) list their hourly rate as being over $300. The survey also found that the percentage of attorneys who charge an hourly rate in excess of $300 has increased significantly since the previous 2010 survey (from 14% in 2010 to 36% in 2016).
The survey results indicated that the Southeast Region of Florida (70%) contains the highest percentage of respondents who charge an hourly rate of over $250. The North Region (31%) contains the highest percentage of respondents who charge an hourly rate of $200 or less.
Of those respondents who reported having a standard hourly billing rate, over two-fifths (44%) reported it has increased over the past two years, compared to 3% who report it has decreased. Over half (53%) reported their standard hourly billing rate has remained the same over the past two years.
55% of the respondents reported that they expected their standard hourly billing rate to stay the same in 2007; 29% reported they expected to increase their standard hourly rate in 2017; and, only 2% stated that the expected to decrease their standard hourly rate in 2017.
31% of the respondents reported that the hourly rate billed for legal work performed by paralegals in their firm is between $81 and $100, while 49% reported that the billed paralegal hourly rate is over $120.
59% of the respondents reported that their law firm or legal office uses an hourly rate as the primary method for billing, while 17% reported that their firm or legal office uses a combination of methods.
33% of the respondents reported that their firm or legal office handles contingency fee cases. Of those who accept cases on a contingency fee basis, the majority reported that these types of cases comprise one-quarter or less of the total number of cases they handle.
76% of the respondents receive 33% to 40% of the award in victorious contingency fee cases, which is an increase from 68% who reported the same in 2014.
34% of the respondents expected the demand for paid billable lawyer services in their area to either significantly or somewhat increase within the next five years, compared to 12% who expected it to significantly or somewhat decrease within that time frame.
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