We believe there are two categories of fee arrangements: (a) those that further client relationships and inspire results, and (b) the billable hour. Traditional law firms are businesses whose economic vitality is based upon hourly billing. The more a lawyer bills, the more the law firm makes, whether or not you pay more to your lawyer than you receive (or pay) on your claim. Simply put, the current law firm model dictates that your lawyer’s fees bear absolutely no relation to a satisfactory resolution of your dispute. Instead of encouraging certainty and excellence through incentivizing results, claims and matters are priced by attorneys on a “time and material basis,” with no critical path schedule, no fee cap, and no anti-escalation clause.
We believe that the conflict between law firm billing and value is dead wrong, and we’re willing to offer a solution. We realize that no business is immune from the continuing pain inflicted by the economic downturn. In today’s reality companies and individuals are injured every day, often catastrophically, and they no longer have the luxury of walking away from good money to salvage a relationship or to qualify for the next bid. To survive, many have no option but to pursue claims, and pursuing claims requires lawyers.
Our Alternative Fees are designed to satisfy the present economic needs of business owners by emphasizing value and results. Our relationships consist of clients that are weary of the old way of doing business with law firms, who prefer to engage skilled litigators committed to putting their skin in the game. In short, our business model is based on refreshing alternatives to the billable hour.
Alternative Fee Options
Alternative Fees are particularly suited to our employee clients as well as various commercial claims. While the variations are many, here are a few examples of fee arrangements we offer:
Design, Bid, Build
We are experienced in claims, and have access to resources that enable us to supplement and enhance our expertise. Because of this we can accurately predict the legal effort needed to successfully prepare and win a commercial claim. The concept is no different than preparing a detailed response to a request for proposal, or a placing a competitive bid on a project defined by plans, specifications and schedules. You do it for your clients and we will do it for you. We will review at our cost your information and gain an understanding of your specific needs, and armed with this we will provide either a lump sum bid on your entire case, or a lump sum bid on any phase.
We put our money where our mouth is. We commit to a defined scope of work and a hard price that incentivizes us to be efficient and successful,
Percentage of Recovery — Contingency Fee
While this method is typical of employee wrongful discharge claims, it has a place in economic loss claims as well. We commit to take a percentage of the ultimate recovery – no more. The percentage can be a sliding scale to further incentivize. For example, a higher percentage of recovery can be allowed if we resolve the case within a certain period after the case is filed, or before a certain stage of the litigation.
Of course any of the above can be used alone or in combination. We are open to any and all AFA’s, even if we’ve never thought of it before. We value client relationships, and are as committed to revolutionizing fee arrangements as we are to pursuing “Relentless Representation.” If you are interested in this level of commitment from your attorneys, please give us a call. We know we can make a difference.
For many clients, traditional hourly billing works best. Our lawyers and paralegals keep detailed logs of the time they spend on your case. Work logs will be disclosed to all clients during the life of a case. We only work for as long as a case requires, so you’ll never be over-billed for unproductive time. Final bills will include costs for copy, filing, messengers, and third-party research tools. Partner rates fall between $350 and $500 per hour while Associate rates are between $250 and $300 per hour. Our paralegals charge between $100 and $150 per hour. Retainers must be paid upfront, but are deposited into a trust or "IOLTA" account until work is billed against the escrowed funds.