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HARD CHARGING -  It’s becoming clear that 2021 is going to be another profitable year for law firms. But there are still questions. Namely, how much of that growth is due to another round of rate increases? And how much higher can those rates tick up before they start ticking off clients? As Law.com’s Andrew Maloney reports, some analysts say a full pipeline, along with new clients and new work means rate hikes can continue unabated for the foreseeable future. But there is some evidence that clients could be nearing their breaking points. “Corporate America has not had a cataclysmic year, but the revenues and therefore the budgets that corporate America can spend on outside counsel have generally not increased at the levels that the law firms are increasing their rates,” Jason Winmill, a managing partner at Argopoint who advises corporate legal departments, told Maloney. “And that continues to exacerbate an ongoing tension between in-house counsel and even their most trusted outside counsel.”