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Casual emails from attorneys at DLA Piper exposed in a recent lawsuit appear to confirm some in-house counsels’ perception that large, seemingly reputable law firms are inflating their clients’ legal bills. In an email exchange with colleagues, DLA Piper attorney Christopher Tomson wrote “[DLA] has random people working full time on random research projects in standard ‘churn that bill, baby!’ mode,” adding “That bill shall know no limits.” This one email succinctly states what many in-house counsel have come to fear: Today the business of practicing law is less about representing the best interest of their clients, and more about maintaining a law firm-centric entitlement culture of ever-growing legal fees to meet revenue targets. In damage control, DLA Piper published a statement calling the email exchange “an inexcusable attempt at humor.” Agreed, not much to laugh about here.

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