A Matter of Time: Law Firms Move Away From the Billable Hour

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To learn about how AFAs go hand in hand with sharp project management skills, read the online exclusive here.

Case study: Bartlit Beck

Masters of the Game

Case study: 84 Lumber and Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney

True Partnership

What Should In-House Counsel Know About AFAs?

Appreciate the partnership dynamic. In-house counsel always think they'll be gouged, and outside counsel think in-house counsel don't understand the realities of practice from the other side--that it's expensive and time-consuming. [So] clients are not typically willing to invest all their eggs in the basket of alternative billing. We need to get beyond that, to sit down and have genuine, honest conversations with existing clients. -- Donald Prophete, former in-house counsel and a director at Ogletree Deakins

Reality Check

Confusing the alternative fee arrangement (AFA) landscape even more is the fact that what some law firms present as AFAs aren't alternatives to the billable hour at all, or don't present much added value or increased risk-sharing for clients. A "real" alternative is more likely to be a pure contingency fee or a fixed fee with success-based bonus.

Associate Editor

Melissa Maleske

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