Reply To: Can a lawyer charge for travel time?

Home Legal Fee Forum Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Can a lawyer charge for travel time? Reply To: Can a lawyer charge for travel time?


Most jurisdictions and most companies only permit billing for travel time if substantive work is being completed simultaneously while travelling (i.e. an attorney is working on documents while on a train or airplane). Some courts, such as in California, are amenable in allowing reasonable fees for travel, however, this standard conflicts with most commercial standards and the legal standards in most other jurisdictions. The generally accepted commercial standards for billing for travel are that most companies will only reimburse reasonable pre-approved travel at half rate or half time and will not reimburse any local travel. The legal standards applied by courts in most jurisdictions are similar to these commercial standards – courts have reduced attorney fees for time billed that consists of purely travel time with no substantive work being performed. This means that if an attorney is charging for travel time at full rate and/or full time and is not performing substantive work, it is likely to be determined as an unreasonable charge.