Story of the Year: Alternative Fees Are Now Prevalent

Dan Currell, General Counsel RoundtableFar and away the biggest development of the last 12 months is the prevalence of alternative fees.  Dan Currell, Senior Member of the General Counsel Roundtable, told me that law firms that offer alternate fees are "eating the other law firms' lunch."  Roughly half of all clients are using alternative fees, according to the new Fulbright & Jaworski survey of in-house lawyers (see the chart) -- and see the article

I went to the Association of Corporate Counsel meeting in October, and GCs are talking about buying "litigation by the bucket" and seeking "concierge services" from law firms. For an article on the topic, see

The National Law Journal recently published a list of the "Hot Mid-Sized Law Firms" and Alternative Fees Put Tucker Ellis & West on Hot List 

Alternative Fees, law firm billingThe most popular alternative fee arrangements are, in order:

  1. Contingency fees
  2. Fixed or flat fees
  3. Discounted hourly billing
  4. Blended hourly rates
  5. Hybrid Fees
  6. Retainer Agreement
  7. Capped fees
  8. Capped hourly rates
  9. Task-based fees
  10. Annual fixed fee

(This is according to the Incisive legal Intelligence 2009 Bill Rates and Practices Survey.)

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