How much does an expert witness cost?

Expert Witnesses are expensive.

One can expect hourly rates that average $100-200 per hour more than the fees charged by industry consultants. The only certainty in Expert Witness fees is that there are no rules. The hourly rates fluctuate based on the Expert’s academic achievement, professional experience, years in industry or academia, experience as an Expert Witness and number of times he/she has given testimony at deposition, Markman or trial.

As a general rule, academics charge more than industry practitioners. Experts with extensive testimonial experience charge more than those just beginning their careers as an Expert Witness. One can expect hourly rates ranging from $200.00 to $1,000.00 per hour, or more.

Expert Witnesses that are retained through Expert Witness Referral services will generally cost more per hour than those that are identified directly. The reason is simply that the Referral firm applies a charge that marks up the Expert’s hourly rate for their services either expressed as an additional amount per hour or percentage of the Expert’s base fees.

Expert Witnesses tend to charge their hourly fees on a portal-to-portal basis, much like the legal profession. The basic perspective is that an “hour is an hour,” meaning that there is a charge for time spent on your matter regardless of whether it is reviewing documents, meeting with attorneys or getting to and from a meeting. Some Experts charge a differential for testimonial time.

In the financial industry, the standard hourly rate is $600-700. Your expert may provide a discount for retail clients. If you hire an attorney through some of the high-end legal consulting shops, the hourly rate may be $1,000 or more.