After years of clients working to trim their roster of firms to a trusted group that understands the specific challenges of their businesses, rate hikes are threatening to upset these delicate relationships.

New data from advisory and accounting firm Withum provides the latest signal that firms of all sizes intend to push up rates in the coming year. A flash survey of law firm leaders and executives found that a vast majority of firms intend to raise rates by either 1%-5% or 6%-10% for all categories of fee earners. Rate pressure for associates is especially significant, across firms of all sizes, with over 40% of respondents honing in on the 6%-10% window. And nearly 10% of firms are looking at an increase exceeding 10% for their equity partners.

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