Top Tobacco, L.P. v. North Atlantic Op. Co., No. 08 C 950, 2007 WL 2688452 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 6, 2007) (Kennelly, J.).

Judge Kennelly previously granted defendant summary judgment on all claims in this trademark infringement case regarding plaintiff’s “TOP and “Fresh-Top Canister” marks and awarded defendant’s attorneys’ fees pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a).* The Court reduced the rates charged by defendant’s counsel Kirkland & Ellis’ summer associates from $185 to $125, more in line with paralegal rates. The Court acknowledged that Kirkland & Ellis’s attorneys showed skill “commensurate with its… high rates,”** but reduced Kirkland & Ellis’s rates because that skill did not result in the time savings (as required by the Seventh Circuit). Kirkland & Ellis billed roughly 30% more hours than plaintiff’s counsel. The Court, therefore, reduced Kirkland & Ellis’s rates to those charged by plaintiff’s counsel.

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** Having worked with Kirkland & Ellis’s lead counsel on this matter, Paul Garcia, I can confirm the Court’s praise.