Larry Bodine's Blog reprints an article from the April 18 issue of the Chicago Tribune titled "Hourly legal fees under attack, Traditional billing by time spent is standard at most big law firms, but McGuireWoods is advertising alternatives."
One of the more interesting things about entering the blogosphere has been the realization that we at Traverse Legal are not the only people who (1) believe hourly billing is bad for clients and bad for the profession of law and (2) are trying to change the way law is practiced. In the above noted article, there are several references to large law firms which offer innovative and service-oriented billing alternatives to their clients. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
- Survey after survey of in-house law departments shows that their top priority is reducing the money they spend on outside law firms. Some of the growth in legal expenses is out of their control, as companies deal with more lawsuits and regulations and turn to outside lawyers to handle these matters.
- One Chicago firm has found that alternative arrangements work in handling large, complex lawsuits. Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott, a boutique litigation firm, typically charges a flat fee, payable in monthly installments. The client retains a percentage that it pays only if the firm is successful. Otherwise, the client keeps the money.
- "We like to get paid for results rather than the hours," said Sidney "Skip" Herman, Bartlit Beck's managing partner.
- McGuireWoods has been offering alternatives to hourly bills for years. About 35 percent of the firm's annual revenue of about $300 million comes from alternative billing arrangements.
Traverse Legal looks forward to continuing its innovation on billing models which serve client goals and stay within budget. We are part of a national trend to deliver more value to clients by leveraging technology and focusing on focusing on client goals.