Alternative billing is an opportunity to account for value

The billable hour – largely the result of client demands for transparency and objectivity – has fallen from favour among many practitioners for rewarding inefficiency, and failing to provide any good basis for rationally predicting future costs. In the current economic climate clients are demanding alternative fee arrangements that begin to address these perceived shortcomings. Alternative billing arrangements are widespread, with the Association of Corporate Counsel reporting that only 13% of large-company general counsel did not utilise such an arrangement in 2010. And these billing practices seem to be here to stay, since use of these arrangements continues to increase despite signs of market rebound. In light of this new institutional reality, it is recommended that firms embrace the alternative fee arrangements as a way to better account for a deep understanding of the client's business and priorities, creativity, dependability, efficiency, integrity, reliability of work product, strong communication, success and timely performance. The value of a lawyer’s services need no longer be measured solely according to the amount of time taken to perform a task.

law.com Alternative billing is an opportunity to account for value
Tue, Feb 15, 2011 law.com