by Debra Cassens Weiss
Kirkland & Ellis lawyer Kirk Radke has emerged as one of the nation’s most expensive lawyers, court filings suggest.
Radke, a private equity and corporate lawyer, charged hourly fees of $1,250 in early 2010, the Wall Street Journal reports. He is one of an increasing number of top lawyers billing more than $1,000 an hour.
Lawyers at the top of the billing spectrum tend to be in finance-related practices, such as mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy law, and taxes, the newspaper reports. Its chart of publicly disclosed billing rates puts these lawyers at the top:
1) Kirk Radke of Kirkland & Ellis, a corporate lawyer billing $1,250 an hour.
2) Ian Taplin of Kirkland & Ellis, a tax lawyer billing $1,220 an hour.
3) Gerhard Schmidt of Weil Gotshal & Manges, a finance, corporate and M&A lawyer billing $1,165 an hour.
4) Michelle Y.L. Gon of Baker McKenzie, a real estate, M&A and intellectual property lawyer billing $1,163 an hour.
5) Andrew Shutter, a Cleary Gottlieb bankruptcy lawyer; and Michael McDonald, a Cleary Gottlieb corporate and M&A lawyer, both billing $1,160 an hour.
Billing rates for other well-known lawyers are $1,065 an hour for former White House counsel Gregory Craig, now at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; and $1,045 an hour for bankruptcy lawyer Harvey Miller of Weil Gotshal.
"The underlying principle,” Miller told the Wall Street Journal, “is if you can get it, get it.”