Cheat Sheet: What inside counsel need to know about alternative fee arrangements

How to choose the right AFA from among numerous options

Alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) have long been trumpeted as a creative way for legal departments to cut costs. Well, the billable hour isn’t dead yet. In fact, the number of both U.S. and U.K. law firms using AFAs dropped in 2012—by 1 and 3 percent, respectively, according to Fulbright & Jaworski’s 9th Annual Litigation Trends Report. Still, 51 percent of U.S. firms used such alternative arrangements last year, as did 63 percent of their U.K. counterparts, an indication that AFAs are here to stay.

“Even though our survey respondents showed a slight decrease in 2012, about four out of every 10 companies [in the U.S.] said they were going to use more AFAs in the coming year,” says Otway Denny, chair of Fulbright & Jaworski’s global litigation department.


What are the most popular AFAs?


What other AFAs are available to legal departments?


Are legal departments satisfied with their AFAs?


Are law firms open to these arrangements?

Alanna Byrne

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Ashley Post

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