A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.
We are in a profession where clients have become accustomed to being charged for general legal services on the basis of time spent on the case by the attorney or paralegal involved. Similarly, it has also become customary to handle personal injury matters and other kinds of litigation for plaintiffs-claimants on a contingent fee basis. Less often in complicated legal matters, but on occasion, counsel will agree to a flat fee for a particular case.
Surprisingly, it is rare that a fee agreement outside one of these models is acceptable to both attorney and client. Old habits are difficult to abandon. Although creativity in billing for legal services has not been widespread in either the business or legal community, we encourage frank discussion about fees with our clients, and do our best to accommodate both their ability to pay and their expectations. We are happy to discuss fee arrangements more suitable to client goals, such as result oriented (or bonus-based compensation for services) and/or combination of retainer (guarantee) and contingent fee agreements.
The manner in which clients are charged for services has become a matter of significant debate within the legal profession in recent years, and we, as a firm, are always willing to listen to the client’s point of view.