Ben Chew Net Worth: How Much is Johnny Depp’s Lawyer Worth?

Ben Chew’s net worth is estimated at $5 million. He is a seasoned senior trial counsel who came to the limelight for representing Johnny Depp in his infamous $50 million defamation trial.

With over twenty-five years of successful courtroom experience as an international lawyer, it is not surprising that he has amassed this much wealth. His income source comes from his attorney fees, his charges as a media personality, and income from his entrepreneurial ventures.

Ben Chew’s Net Worth Is $5 Million

Ben Chew’s net worth is indeed in the millions. His excellent track record and court wins have kept him relevant and ensured that his services are in high demand. He has also maintained his partner position as he moves from firm to firm, meaning he has been part of the senior lawyers responsible for generating the firm’s revenue. Consequently, this reflects on his income, putting him as a top earner.

His salary as a partner in his firm, attorney fees from cases he handles, and other bonuses contribute to his high net worth. With his growing popularity, his media engagements are also on the rise. Income from public appearances generates a considerable income for Ben. Finally, he also makes profits from his business enterprises. With all these sources of income, Ben Chew has amassed a net worth of about $5 million.

How Ben Chew’s Net Worth Accrued

Attorney Ben Chew is a self-made millionaire. His efforts on this path started from his love and dedication to law. To this end, he earned a bachelor’s degree in law from Princeton University in 1984.

He then proceeded to the University of Virginia School of Law, where he finished his Juris Doctor degree in 1988. Ben Chew not only took the bar exam in the District of Columbia, but he also took the bar exams in Virginia and the Republic of Kosovo.

Finally, he is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), the prestigious, invitation-only association of trial lawyers from the United States and Canada. While acquiring his impressive qualifications across the years, Ben Chew has garnered work experience and honed his courtroom skills working for top law firms – from Squire Patton Boggs to Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, and currently Brown Rudnick.

His clientele spreads across international celebrities (such as Cher and Johnny Depp), independent contractors, large software companies, and government and multinational corporations. Furthermore, he has extensive experience in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, working in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Honduras, Kosovo, and Dubai. He has also argued cases before the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

A Breakdown of Ben Chew’s Income Sources

From his credentials, there is no questioning of Ben Chew’s status as a high-profile lawyer. Now let’s look at how much Ben Chew earns as;

Legal Practice

In law firms, (equity) partners are compensated in two ways; sharing the company’s profit in a fixed proportion based on seniority or compensation based solely on the business they generate. However, many firms have a hybrid compensation method that blends the two. Be that as it may, these compensation options are reserved for equity partners who have bought into the company and thus own a portion of the firm. On the other hand, non-equity partners receive a salary as their compensation.

Ben Chew belongs to the latter group as he is only a partner in Brown Rudnick. However, it is interesting to note that, as per a report by Reuters, “Brown Rudnick posted nearly $229 million in gross revenue in 2021 and profits per equity partner of $1.3 million.” Brown Rudnick certainly has enough money to spread around, especially for employees closing deals with high-profile clients.

As a partner in Brown Rudnick LLP, Ben Chew inevitably enjoys a robust compensation pay and benefits package. He earns a six-figure salary as compensation for his work at the law firm. With an hourly billing rate of $700, his annual earning is estimated to be approximately $250,000. Recall that Ben Chew has been working for more than three decades, and his income scale has increased through the years.

Public Speaking Engagements 

Attorneys also earn income from offering speaking engagements on various platforms. From legal advice, client relationship management, emerging laws, etc., attorneys can sell themselves and create brand awareness for their law firm.

Ben Chew is slowly becoming a sought-after figure in the public space. As a media personality, a substantial part of his income comes from various public speaking engagements.

Ben Chew has signed an exclusive deal with Keppler Speakers, one of the top speaker agencies in the U.S. The fee range for high-profile speakers like him can be between $30,000 and $50,000 or more. Of this amount, a certain percentage goes to the agency as a commission while the speaker gets to keep the rest. This gives a rough idea of how much Ben might be making for each speaking engagement. And with his rising popularity, he has been making frequent public appearances.


The exact figure from Ben Chew’s private ventures is unknown. As a seasoned litigator and a wealthy lawyer, he no doubt has other sources of income outside his law practice. These may include private clientele with requirements for his retainer services; contingency fees for successful lawsuits, investment portfolios, etc.

How Much Does Ben Chew Earn as Johnny Depp’s Lawyer?

Ben Chew has been working with Johnny Depp for years now. The pair were introduced by a mutual friend. So even before the famous defamation trial, Ben was already a part of Johnny Depp’s legal team.

In fact, Ben was already Johnny’s lawyer while with his former firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. In one of their cases, he had represented Depp in a $25 million battle against his former managers. That case ended quietly, with the two sides settling out of court in 2018.

Ben Chew, as Johnny Depp’s lawyer, might be paid on a retainer basis. This means that he is paid regularly in return for specific legal services whenever Johnny Depp needs them. Retainer fees may vary depending on the services being provided. From $1000 for contractual or advisement issues to amounts up to $100,000 for litigation.

As for the case Ben Chew is widely known for, Johnny Depp is estimated to have spent $5.5 million on his legal team in the $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. With a $700 an-hour billing rate and the six-week trial in Fairfax, we can roughly calculate Ben’s pay from the case. But as most lawyers have non disclosure agreement with their clients, we do not know the exact figure he earns as Johnny Depp’s lawyer. However his pay no doubt runs into hundreds of thousands dollars.

Chidiebube has been writing and editing articles on movies, entertainment and other juicy things for several years. When he is not writing, he spends time outdoors, lost in the beauty of nature or simply travelling around the world. Thank goodness he can do the later with any internet-enabled device


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