Corporate Law Firm Charges Fixed Fees Exclusively

Examplarlaw_1 I was talking to the General Counsel of a Fortune 500 express delivery company, and he was gushing about a law firm Web site that touted it had stopped charging clients by the hour.  In fact, Exemplar Law Partners in Boston says it is the first corporate law firm to exclusively adopt a fixed price model to charge for its services.  The idea is to enable business clients to manage their legal budgets better.

This is the kind of bold, client-oriented marketing and brand distinction I've been waiting to see for 10 years! The general counsel I was talking to loved the idea.

The 10-lawyer firm was founded in 2005 and its Web site lists no lawyers, except CEO Christopher Marston. The firm represents entrepreneurs, corporations, 50 universities, and high-net worth individuals in corporate law in Asian and Latin American markets, entertainment law and real estate.

Marston, who earned a J.D. and an M.S.F. (Master of Science in Finance) from Suffolk University Law and Business School, says "Are you tired of hiring expensive lawyers who wait for you to make costly mistakes to get your business?" on the Web site.  "At Exemplar, we treat you like a partner and empower you to make informed business decisions that give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace."

They also offer a service guarantee.  "We encourage you to determine what the value of the service was worth to you based on your experience. If it was less than the price you paid, call us, articulate the shortcomings, and we will negotiate a fair price with you."

On his blog, Marston says, "The most common question I am asked about our model is how we actually price out legal work. Most people ask "How can you price when you don't know how long it will take?" he says. "The error in the reasoning that the question implies is that there exists a relationship between time and value to the client. The basis of a value pricing model is that there is, in fact, no direct relationship at all.  Most clients want the work done faster, not slower. I do not meet many passengers on airplanes who think they should pay more because it took longer to get to their destination. . . . . "

You know this firm is different when the CEO quotes Malcom X: "If you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  Marston says Exemplar Law Partners "chooses to be a part of the solution."

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