At Barley Snyder, we understand the importance of sharing business risks with our clients. Doing so develops a bond of trust which is, in our view, the critical aspect of the client-attorney relationship. We strive to work with our clients to arrive at a fee arrangement that encourages our mutual success and efficiency.
The current economy is causing dramatic changes in the way law firms charge fees for legal services--away from the traditional straight hourly billing. Some law firms are only now discovering that a flexible and value oriented approach to fees is very important to clients.
While hourly billing remains the best solution for many of our clients, alternative fee arrangements that accommodate clients who are interested in a fee structure other than hourly billing are not new to Barley Snyder.
Depending on the nature of the legal matter or case, we can structure a traditional billing or alternative fee arrangement that may take a number of forms:
- Success Based Fees
- Contingency Fees
- Fixed or Flat Rate
- Blended Rates
A few examples of alternative fee arrangements that we have used or are now using with our clients:
- A public company client has had an ongoing need to augment its in-house legal capability, on site. We have provided an attorney on site at their headquarters for an agreed upon and guaranteed number of hours each week, at a negotiated rate. We also provide other services to the client at regular rates.
- A public company client desired assistance in an identifiable group of areas, including contract review and securities compliance. We agreed to assist their in-house counsel in these areas for a fixed monthly fee. Our arrangement included periodic reviews to assure the fees and process were appropriate for the client and us.
- A business client had a complex commercial dispute in which it claimed significant financial damages resulting from a competitor’s breach of contract. The client had concerns about the cost of handling the matter on a straight hourly basis. We agreed to work on an hourly basis up to a fixed dollar amount. The arrangement provided for additional fees to be paid as a percentage contingent fee in the event of a positive financial recovery for the client.
- A public company client identified a foreign worker candidate to fill a professional position within the company. The HR manager contacted our immigration counsel for assistance in determining and applying for the best available visa option for both parties. We billed on a flat rate basis (providing a low and high range of fees depending on the complexity of each case), for consulting, preparing and filing non-immigrant and immigrant visas. We also provided services on workplace compliance issues such as I-9 audits and training at regular rates or other mutually agreed upon rates based on client need.
- A municipality, looking to adequately budget its exposure to legal fees in the workers’ compensation area, requested a blended rate arrangement where an hourly rate for partners, associates and paralegals was agreed upon. The municipality was able to budget its exposure based on past claims experience.
- We regularly provide fixed fee and "not to exceed" quotes to lenders in connection with representing them in commercial loan transactions. We also regularly provide fixed fee quotes for representing various parties (borrowers, lender, underwriters), and acting as bond counsel in bond issuance transactions.
We will work with you to design the fee arrangement that best fits your needs. We will continue to offer competitive hourly rates for situations where the traditional billing method is the best solution.
Please contact a Barley Snyder attorney to discuss your legal needs and a fee arrangement that best suits your particular situation, budget and preferences.