Collecting year-end payments from clients in the fourth quarter is a business imperative for law firms every year. But for large New York law offices, it may be especially critical—and rewarding—in 2017.

According to two banks’ legal industry data about the first nine months of the year, New York-based law firms, still facing mediocre demand at best, have been sitting on large stacks of unbilled and billed time, much more than in previous years and higher than the national average. Citi and Wells Fargo legal industry surveys show high inventories for New York firms from January through September, in large part due to higher than average billing rate increases this year.

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