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Question for those who work a lot with law firms (directly -- NOT through agencies)
Thread poster: Ken Fagan
Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:03
French to English
Sep 8, 2008

Have any of you tried to charge/succeeded in charging law firm clients more for litigation work than for other legal type work (contracts, meeting minutes, etc. etc.)?

Clearly, this is impossible with agencies: I'm wondering if it is possible with law firms.

Thank you.


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:03
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I do charge agencies more for legal translations Sep 8, 2008

I do charge agencies more for legal translations ( even if they are only a small part of the total translation) Basically since I do not do this myself, and have to outsource it to another specialist.
Sorry I don't work for law firms directly, but I can imagine they do not accept additional charges for their " normal " (=legal) texts, I'd assume they are looking to work with specialists in legal translations, and would probably want discounts for non-legal work...

Ed Vreeburg
Translate.ED
IT specialist
English, French -> Dutch


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Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:03
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
that wasn't the question Sep 8, 2008

Edward,

I thank you for taking the time to reply, but I'm afraid you didn't read my question.

(Your answer had nothing whatsoever to do with my question).

Thanks anyway:)


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same Sep 8, 2008

If by "litigation work" you refer to documents needed for litigation in a case a firm is handling (or whatever it means), my charges are the same. I also translate items such as contracts, meeting minutes, financial reports and even materials that are for the firm itself; my charges are the same.

If I were to charge more it would mainly be due to urgency.

I do not know what issue you are trying to get to here, maybe you can explain it. My own policy is an equal price for an equal amount of work.

I do a lot of work for law firms.


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Cetacea  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 00:03
English to German
+ ...
Not a lot, but... Sep 8, 2008

I usually translate contracts for law firms, but in the two instances I was asked to translate litigation materials, I charged a 50% surcharge, also due to the urgency of the jobs. In both cases, the firms didn't even try to argue, which makes me think I didn't charge enough...

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Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:03
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
for Henry Sep 8, 2008

Hi Henry,

Thanks for your reply.

Some (most?) translators would say that litigation work is more difficult/takes longer than the bread and butter stuff you mentioned (contracts, etc.).

I'm asking the question because I'm curious if anyone charges/has tried to charge more for litigation as a result.

Thanks


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xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 18:03
German to English
+ ...
framing the question Sep 8, 2008

i would frame the question in the traditional translator's (er. lawyer's) sense: time.

litigation requires adherence to stricter and faster deadlines with less tolerance for delay. i would think that being an agency that is a participant in litigation would also require you to incur extra costs (mandatory liability insurance and increased indemnification obligations come to mind).

if you make your argument for higher fees/rates from this vantage point, I think few lawyers would insist on you charging less ...

hope this helps.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
All the same Sep 8, 2008

[quote]Ken Fagan wrote:


Some (most?) translators would say that litigation work is more difficult/takes longer than the bread and butter stuff you mentioned (contracts, etc.).

I haven't found any inherent difference in difficulty. Material for litigation can be quite varied, but I take it on all the same. Like I say, about the only extra charge would be for urgency, or in a few cases for difficult formats.

A lot of the work I do for litigation involves translating Mexican documents into English, and those I really eat up.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:03
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Well, I am in a position to answer your question Sep 8, 2008

Hi Ken,

I work directly for lawyers all the time.

Yes, Judgments, for example, are at a high level of difficulty, and I quote a higher price to agencies and end clients for doing them - especially given the fact that I have to do them "cold", without having followed the case. However, the lawyers pay the same price for everything. Thus, if they send me a simple letter or a list of goods and services for a trademark application, or a trademark certificate, etc., they pay me the same rate as for litigation. The litigation actually works out at a good hourly rate for me, however, since I follow ongoing court cases, sometimes for years. Therefore there is absolutely NO terminology research, once you get used to the legal language and have it in your termbases. Terminology research is only necessary for each new topic that the case is about, and, once that terminology has been established, it is repeated for years on end. In addition, they keep taking chunks out of one letter and pasting them into another. They get a discount for that, of course. Nonetheless, I usually come out of it with a decent hourly rate.

Astrid


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