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Lawyers Charge Top Dollar For Climate Change Work

blindjustice2.jpgTwenty of the top 100 highest-grossing U.S. law firms are billing as much as $700 dollars per hour for climate change work that ranges from lobbying Congress to helping clients finance clean-energy projects, according to Bloomberg.  And the move into climate-change law is gaining traction as Congress considers mandatory GHG caps.Baker & McKenzie, a Chicago-based firm with over 3,300 lawyers, pioneered a climate-change group ten years ago.  The team of 60 lawyers brought in an estimated revenue of $15 to $20 million in 2007, said Richard Saines, who heads the US part of the practice.

According to Chuck Wehland, an environmental partner at Washington-based Jones Day, hourly rates for climate-change partners at the biggest firms range from $500 to $700.  But Rick Glick, president of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, said Midwest and Pacific Northwest attorneys typically charge $300 to $500.

According to the article, companies in all sectors are turning to lawyers to help them build systems to monitor, report and verify carbon credits.  Attorneys also advise private-equity firms and hedge funds on clean-energy projects.

One recent article highlighted which companies are vulnerable to lawsuits regarding climate change.

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4 thoughts on “Lawyers Charge Top Dollar For Climate Change Work

  1. Indeed, the rabble in Bruxelles are even now rubbing their hands with pleasure. Those companies that feel the need to employ our learned friends should ask themselves this: what, exactly do lawyers bring to the party. Most of em’ know little about climate change and less about the technologies that could something about it. In the days when I did trade disputes (the injury study part) I realised that in fact, lawyers could be characterised as short hand typists (please take a note Miss Jones). As I built the story to defend the client the lawyers fleshed it out into words. Do you really need to pay somebody $700 per hour to do that? Still, as my gran used to say, fools and their money are easily parted. In this case, I think companies are being foolish and the lawyers are cashing in on the credulity of their “clients” or was that “cash machines” (is there a difference?)

  2. I do not begrudge my colleagues who charge $700 an hour. At the same time, some hours are worth more than others. Seven hundred dollars is worthwhile when a lawyer can pick up the phone and make a problem go away in 8 hours. It may not be worthwhile where lawyers are simply tracking or aggregating information for status reports or preparing “white papers” or memos for clients. There are many solo and small firm lawyers, such as myself who have expertise in areas like renewable energy and climate change and offer alternative billing rates and flat fees and are probably more cost effective for companies for many matters. Indeed, I would be the first to outsource a complicated financing or shareholder litigation to a larger firm.

  3. This gore-ble warming hoax is just another scam that that the leading scammers are capitalizing on – what else is new? The sheeple will pay the bill until they wake up and demand change. Unfortunately junk science and the media are a powerful elixir and the sheeple remain in a haze of confused elation that man really is important on this planet.

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