Clients are inquiring about alternative fees, which leave most law firms flummoxed. Hourly billing is all that many law firms are familiar with. Now Susan Van Dyke, the president of the Vancouver Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association, demystifies several alternative billing models:
- Blended rates
- Capped fees
- Contingency fees
- Fixed fees
- Success fee
"American lawyers and firms are now undeniably called upon to introduce more creative approaches to billing by in-house legal departments," she writes on the LawMarketing Portal. "A few firms have jumped aboard and, further yet, some will be paid bonuses on positive outcomes, rewarding the creative and efficient."
Alternative fees are the bugaboo of law firm economics. Research by ACC/Serengeti and by Incisive Legal Intelligence show that the billable hour is firmly entrenched not just by law firms, but by corporate clients as well. The research shows that clients may rattle their sabers about alternative fees, but they ultimately are satisfied with a discount on hourly fees.
"After many years of mumbling by lawyers and clients alike, one must wonder: will we look beyond the billable hour in light of the current economic bellyaching and slashed budgets of virtually every U.S. corporate legal department and many Canadian clients?"
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Rodrigo González Fernández
Diplomado en "Responsabilidad Social Empresarial" de la ONU
Diplomado en "Gestión del Conocimiento" de la ONU
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