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The price of a billable hour has risen by more than 10 percent in four years, as large corporate law firms focused on their most expensive work and saved clients’ money elsewhere.

“The question is: Is anybody ­paying that?” Maurice Watson, chairman at Husch Blackwell, said, looking back at hourly rates charged last year for ­lawyers. Husch’s average rate for partners is about $449 per hour, the firm told The National Law Journal in response to our 2014 billing survey. But $407 is closer to what the firm collects for its work.

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