When a court reviews legal fees to determine whether they are reasonable among the factors considered is whether the hours claimed were reasonably expended. Recently, the court in Bayer Cropscience AG, et. al v.Dow Agrosciences LLC. Civil No. 12-256 (RMB/JS) United States District Court, D. Delaware. (January 5, 2015) made it clear that when challenging a fee petition, it is not enough to characterize the fees as unreasonable and excessive. Rather, the opposing party must make specific objections regarding the accuracy of the number of hours spent and the necessity for these hours. In granting almost all of Dow's request for attorney's fees ($5,761,936.79), Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider court noted, “since Bayer raises only “generalized conclusory objection” to the time claimed by Dow, the Court many not award less in fees than requested by the fee petitioner.”
In light of this ruling, a client who is opposing a fee application would be well served engaging a legal auditing firm which has extensive experience providing expert testimony on the reasonableness of legal fees so that specific objections can be made as to whether the attorneys' fees are excessive, redundant or otherwise unnecessary.