Following my post on Alternative Fee Agreements for law firms and their clients I had one of those days where I wished I had never heard of the phrase. I was sitting in the middle of a flat fee project. Had I priced by the billable hour, I would be rich and retired today. Instead, my hourly rate is clocking...
Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman has a very important column in today's New York Times . His title "The Third Depression," along with the thoughtful analysis that he presents, communicate a clear warning to law firms that depend heavily on clients in the United States and Europe.
This two-part series was written by LegalBizDev Principal Steve Barrett , former CMO at Drinker Biddle. It is based on an article that will appear in Of Counsel: The Legal Practice and Management Report.
Approaching the second anniversary of the September financial markets collapse, let's look...
In my opinion, any lawyer who wants to understand the nitty gritty details of how non-hourly fees really work, from pricing to project management, should buy Pat Lamb's new book Alternative Fee Arrangements: Value Fees and the Changing Legal Market .
To put this into context, people who work with...
This week's post comes from the preface to my new book . The preface starts by explaining how to use the book's tools and templates to improve profitability and client service, then transitions to the material below, explaining why project management is becoming a critical component of many firms'...
If you still don't like the idea of offering clients alternative fees or value pricing options, then how about just letting the client decide how much they want to pay for legal services? WHAT!!!, you say. A pretty far fetched (or ludicrous) idea, right?
Not so fast. CMS Cameron McKenna , a UK...
The failure of the billable hour to die is back in the news.
In a recent AmLaw Daily post entitled The Billable Hour Endures , former Kirkland & Ellis partner Steven Harper argued that, "Regularly over the past 20 years, optimists have declared [the billable hour's] imminent demise.....
Adam Smith, Esq. has an excellent piece this morning , based on a Legal OnRamp thread, questioning whether corporate clients are actually demanding the changes so many of us are talking about, from alternative fees/value-based billing to legal project management. Are clients really asking for efficiency...
This three-part series is reproduced from the LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees , a research report based on in-depth interviews with chairmen, senior partners and C-level executives at 37 of the largest law firms in the US.
More conservative firms are trying to plan bids so that every deal is...
In recent months, a substantial part of our firm's practice has involved working with law firm partners to improve their compensation systems. (I am currently working on four such projects with firms in Latin America and Africa.)
One interesting issue that has arisen in some of these projects...
In 2010, 60% of Tucker Ellis & West's revenues came from non-hourly fees. In the seven years since the firm was founded, alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) have been growing in importance year by year. The firm currently has 160 lawyers in Ohio, California and Colorado, and AFAs now account...
This post was written by LegalBizDev
Principals Mike Egnatchik , Tom
Kane , and Jim Hassett .
At the beginning of a new matter,
lawyers often specify its scope and fees in an engagement letter. The
engagement letter is designed to clarify exactly what is included, and
excluded, from a particular...
There's been some controversy lately about who was the first to offer
certification in legal project management.
There does not seem to be any dispute about the facts. Last November,
when we announced the start of our demanding Certified Legal Project Manager TM program, we called it
The material below is an excerpt
from the second edition of my Legal Project Management Quick Reference Guide , which is now available.
Copies have already been shipped to purchasers from firms with a total of
over 16,000 lawyers, who pre-ordered the book after the initial announcement in this blog...
According to the "Firms in Transition Survey
2011" reported on Law360 on Tuesday "unproductive and underproductive
partners" (read non-rainmakers) will be cut by 20% of the law firm responding
to the Altman Weil (no follow) survey
this year. The good news is that the percentage...
Last month, the Canadian magazine Lexpert ran
an article about legal project management that began by describing two partners
McKelvey who participated in our Certified Legal Project Manager TM program .
The article went on to discuss other
project management initiatives at such firms...
A few weeks ago, Three Geeks and a Law Blog ran
a post entitled "Is it 'legal' project management or just project management? ,"
which included very interesting comments by a who's who of thought leaders in
the field, including Pam Woldow , Tim Corcoran ,
Steven Levy , Toby...
Buy this book. (Right after you buy mine .)
Project Management for Lawyers was written by two experts in this emerging field: Barbara
Boake , a senior partner at McCarthy Tetrault , and Rick
Kathuria, a certified Project Management Professional at the same firm. The book
draws on their experience...
This series of posts is a slightly
extended version of an article that appeared in the July 2011 issue of Managing Partner magazine .
download a PDF of the published version of my article, click here.
Firms that are looking for more
affordable solutions sometimes start by focusing on the...
When I interviewed chairmen, senior
partners, and C-level executives from AmLaw 100 firms (in the LegalBizDev
Survey of Alternative Fees ), nine types of AFAs were reported most
Fee caps : In
a fee cap, hourly rates are charged up to an agreed maximum amount for a
Some law firms are going to large companies and offering to
do all their legal work for one fixed price, but the firms don't know how it
will work out in the long run. I suspect in some cases it will come out
This prediction was made in 2009, by
a senior partner from an AmLaw...
A few weeks ago, when I gave a
speech at the retreat of a 1,000 lawyer firm, a senior partner asked: "In
your experience, how do large firms determine costs?" I replied:
"Mostly, they don't. Until recently, most firms were making so much money
they didn't need to precisely...