"With business booming at the nation's law firms, the fees they charge will climb steadily. Expect the cost of corporate legal services to continue to increase an average of one and a half times the rate of inflation in coming years. The trend will vary widely by region, with the largest jumps likely in major metropolitan areas.
"What's fueling demand? The explosion of new corporate compliance regulations, spawned in large part by the Sarbanes-Oxley reform law, means businesses have a lot more legal paperwork. Merger mania is also keeping lawyers busy as companies buy and sell one another at a fast clip. Every corporate deal generates a raft of necessary legal documents. Finally, plain old economic growth is underpinning a natural expansion in the market for legal services. As a result, law firms are averaging a comfortable 10% rate of profit growth [emphasis added] per partner per year."