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LegalFebruary 02, 2022

Wolters Kluwer's ELM Solutions’ Real Rate Report traces impact of population growth on law firm fees

The 2021 rate report is the first issued since the LegalVIEW® data warehouse crossed more than $150 billion in invoices

According to the latest edition of Wolters Kluwer's ELM Solutions’ annual Real Rate Report, areas of the U.S. that have experienced much higher than average population growth in recent years (including Miami, FL, and Seattle, WA) are witnessing a sizable uptick in law firm hourly rates. Powered by ELM Solutions’ LegalVIEW data warehouse – the most comprehensive legal spend database in the world – the 2021 Real Rate Report analyzes actual invoice data to provide benchmarks of law firm rates.

This year’s report is the first of its kind to be released since the LegalVIEW data warehouse crossed the pivotal milestone of more than $150 billion in legal invoices. As with past Real Rate Reports, all of the data analyzed are from corporations’ and law firms’ e-billing and time management solutions, with lawyer and paralegal rate data filtered by specific practice and sub-practice areas, metropolitan areas, and types of matters to give legal departments and law firms greater ability to pinpoint areas of opportunity for more informed decision-making.

The analysis identifies a strong correlation between hourly rates and higher-than-average population growth. It may come as little surprise that cosmopolitan legal service markets such as New York City, NY, San Francisco, CA, and Los Angeles, CA are associated with higher hourly rates, but other geographic areas in the U.S. are also seeing their rates push upwards. For example, Greenville, SC, experienced an average law firm rate increase of approximately 18%, while the average rates in Fresno, CA saw close to a 15% increase.

In addition to the 2021 Real Rate Report – which is now available for purchase – ELM Solutions’ LegalVIEW data warehouse also supports an ongoing series of LegalVIEW Insights blogs, webinars, and other content that explores the spend volatility found in corporate legal departments. Last year, the company released the first, second, and third installments of its continuing LegalVIEW Insights report series. 

Wolters Kluwer's ELM Solutions was named a leader in both the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Enterprise Legal Spend Management 2020 Vendor Assessment and IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Enterprise Matter Management 2020 Vendor Assessment. The company’s award-winning products include Passport®, one of the highest-rated ELM solutions in the latest Hyperion MarketView™ Legal Market Intelligence Report and TyMetrix® 360°, the industry’s leading SaaS-based e-billing and matter management solution. CLM Matrix, meanwhile, was named a “strong performer” in The Forrester Wave™: Contract Lifecycle Management For All Contracts, Q1 2021 report. ELM Solutions’ LegalVIEW® portfolio of legal analytics solutions is based upon the industry’s largest and most comprehensive legal spend database, with more than $150 billion in invoices.

Governance, Risk & Compliance is a division of Wolters Kluwer, which provides legal and banking professionals with solutions to help ensure compliance with ever-changing regulatory and legal obligations, manage risk, increase efficiency, and produce better business outcomes.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (EURONEXT: WKL) is a global leader in information, software solutions and services for professionals in healthcare; tax and accounting; financial and corporate compliance; legal and regulatory; corporate performance and ESG. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with technology and services.

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