Most people would leave if when a person took a car into the mechanic, the mechanic stated that he identified the problem and that he could provide an estimate of the cost for fixing it, but the actual cost could be significantly higher or lower and that you wouldn’t know the final cost until you received a bill when the work was complete; however, this is exactly how it works in most law firms. In the average law firm, when a client comes in for a consultation, the client is asked to provide a large retainer and told that the fees could exceed that retainer depending on what happens in the case. Moreover, when the retainer is expended, the monthly bills can be inconsistent and the client may receive unexpected large bills that include numerous time entries for every phone call, email or even travel to the courthouse.
We want to provide our clients a different experience and to eliminate the incentives for the attorney to move slowly or file motions that do little to advance the resolution of the case. With this in mind, we have adopted a unique pricing structure that includes clear, upfront, and predictable pricing for our clients.
For transnational or uncontested matters, we charge a set flat rate that is published on our website and consistent for all of our clients. Because we have been able to harness the efficiency of technology, these fees are often less than what you would pay hourly at another law firm.
For contested litigation matters, we charge a hybrid fee that consists of an initial upfront fee and a monthly charge throughout the course of the litigation. The initial sign up fees for most matters we handle are listed on our website and it consists of the signup fee and the first monthly fee. This fee compensates the attorney for reviewing your documents, drafting the initial paperwork, accepting the case, and for giving up the right to represent the opposing party and/or other clients due to the limited number of cases that can be handled at any given time.
If the case is resolved within thirty (30) days, the initial sign up fee is all that you pay. If the matter is not resolved within thirty (30) days, you will be automatically charged the monthly fee for each month until the matter is resolved on the credit or debit card you used to sign up for services. As that monthly payment is compensating the firm for the work performed in the previous month, the fees are non-refundable unless the case is resolved within two (2) business days after the monthly payment is made. At the end of the representation, we agree to waive the final month’s fees, meaning that you will not receive a bill for the final month’s services.
Another advantage of our hybrid fees for litigation is that they include all of the standard expenses related to handling your matter, which further helps to keep the legal expenses predictable for our clients.
In addition to providing predictability to our clients, some of the other benefits of our pricing model include, but are not limited to:
- Encourages the law firm to work efficiently and to find resolutions to the matters we are handling
- Promotes active communication between the attorney and the client as clients are not reluctant to call in fear of receiving a large bill at the end of the month
- Clients can make better settlement decisions because the costs of continuing the litigation are predictable and easy to calculate.
- Because the final bill is waived, clients can reach settlement decisions without worrying about having to pay an additional large bill to the attorney after the case is closed.
The billable hour has been around for many years and attorneys are reluctant to change because it is what’s known and familiar. With that being said, the standard model for taxi cabs seems unchangeable until the advent of Uber. It is indisputable that Uber has made transportation easier for riders and it is time for the legal industry to embrace change so as to provide better services to our clients.