Tough market conditions haven’t necessarily resulted in firm’s using price as a way to win work. Queensland’s insolvency legal market continues to display a variation in pricing between firms/individuals that few other areas can match.
There are, of course, questions about whether many of the larger firm’s rack rates vs actual rates are even vaguely similar or just how often a anyone even pays rack rates but, the comparative expense of Queensland’s insolvency lawyers should not be underestimated. This high level of pricing translates across to the Bar where many of our ranked lawyers charge significantly more on a daily rate basis than their colleagues in Southern markets and also manage to charge a range of other “fees” that would simply not be tolerated in larger markets.
60% of the firm’s surveyed indicated that their hourly rack rate was over $500 per hour, a figure that’s not overly surprising. However couple this with the fact that a quarter of firms fell within the $400-$500 bracket and 6% of firms sat under $400 per hour there’s a strong case to be made that the acceptable hourly rate for most insolvency lawyers in the Brisbane market is in the mid to high $500’s per hour.
Over 20% of firms set their rack rate in excess of $600 per hour and almost half of these set themselves over $700 per hour.
Given that alternative price has been an insolvency staple for a significant period of time the fact that only 70% of firms stated they use alternative pricing is lower than expected.
A quarter of the market used performance related or “speculative” type fees and, anecdotally, this continues to be used at the smaller/boutique end of town rather than at larger firms.
Beyond fixed pricing, the most common form of alternative pricing was the setting of a daily rate/retainer style model on particular matter however typically this model was driven on the debtor rather than bank side.