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The Revenue Impact of Alternative Fees (Part 1 of 2)

Last month, Of Counsel, the Legal Practice and Management Report, published an article based on The LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees , which they described as "the most lucid and comprehensive study that we have seen on this topic." This post reproduces the first part of the article....

The Revenue Impact of Alternative Fees (Part 2 of 2)

Last month, Of Counsel, the Legal Practice and Management Report , published an article based on The LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees , which they described as "the most lucid and comprehensive study that we have seen on this topic." This post reproduces the second part of the article...

Risk collars: A great way to start offering alternative billing

Whenever I give speeches about alternative fees, lawyers who are just starting to consider this approach are fascinated by the idea of risk collars. These arrangements are essentially the same as hourly billing, with one giant exception: risk collars align the interests of lawyers and clients. If work...

An Interesting Point in Support of AFAs

Anthony Tijan's article in the Harvard Business Review about bundling services and goods goes on to make an intriguing point about Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs): "I remember receiving a legal bill that carefully showed the breakdown of all the expenses. As the buyer of these services...

Lawyers Rethink 'Billable Hours' in Down Economy

For the graduating law class about to embark on a career that lives and breathes in six-minute increments, Stephen Ellis had an unusual message. The commencement speaker at Case Western Reserve University Law School told students that a mainstay of the legal profession the billable hour was a recipe...

In-house law departments and trust

When I published the results of our national survey of alternative fees, one of the most discouraging sections concerned the lack of trust between in-house law departments and the firms that serve them. Although the interviews were focused on alternative fees, the findings also have implications for...

A Qwest for fair billing arrangements – four arguments against fixed fees

Richard Baer, general counsel of Qwest Communications, recently made several points against fixed fees. He gave four reasons for his opposition to them in an interview by Corp. Counsel, March 2010 at 18. His points don't persuade me. Baer begins with the view that a firm operating under a fixed...

What every lawyer needs to know about project management, Part 1 of 5

This five-part series is an expanded version of an article I published last week on AmericanLawyer.com entitled "Teaching Lawyers How to Manage: Can It Improve the Bottom Line?" When I interviewed AmLaw 100 chairmen, senior partners and C-level executives for a recent survey of alternative...

In-house lawyers admit some resistance to alternative fee arrangements, but blast law firms, perhaps unfairly

A survey of corporate lawyers conducted by Serengetti asked them to scale their own resistance to alternative fee arrangements (AFA) and their perception of law firm resistance to AFAs. On the scale given, a 1 means "no resistance"; a 3 presumably means moderate resistance; and a 5 a "great...

Legal Project Management (Part 6) – Budget problems and solutions

Many lawyers believe that it is simply not possible to predict the costs of complex legal matters. As the managing partner of a firm with more than 1,000 lawyers put it in The LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees : [Some] litigators say [a fixed fee] just doesn't work at all, because who knows...

On Adam Smith Esq. and “Good Enough”

A recent Adam Smith, Esq. column raises the critical question around "good enough" cost-limited legal work : What happens when something goes wrong? He titles it The Coming Debate Over Defining "Quality." I think it's a debate the industry needs to have, and isn't having...

LexisNexis Business Solutions Webinars: Do You Have an Alternate Fee Arrangement Solution?

The 9th Annual Chief Legal Officer Survey (2009) shows more than 40 percent of CLOs require outside counsel to provide AFAs to help ensure legal cost certainty. Do you have an AFA solution to meet your customers' needs? Or is your current AFA solution holding you back from offering your clients what...

A Radical Future For The Legal Industry?

Rory Webber, Martindale-Hubbell Connected's Marketing & Community Development Manager interviews legal journalist and MH Connected member, Richard Parnham. In today's difficult economy, many law firms are focusing on how to survive over the next few months. But good times will - hopefully...

More On The Reality of Alternative Fees

During Jackson Lewis ' annual corporate counsel conference, as reported in The National Law Journal and on Law.com's Small Firm Business , alternative fees are "putting down deep roots." This got my attention, because although there has been much written about the subject including...

Should you buy Pat Lamb’s new book on alternative fees?

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...

Why project management is becoming increasingly important to law firms

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'...

Alternative fee strategies (Part 2 of 3): Conservative risk avoidance

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...