Transparent and Predictable Pricing
The key to a successful representation is obtaining the desired result at a predictable and affordable price. This is confirmed by client surveys which show that one of the most common client complaints is that the cost to the representation ended up being much more than what was initially estimated. To minimize the chances of this occurring, we will work with you at the outset to assess the total time and expense that will be required. By doing this on the front end, you can identify the right fee arrangement to achieve the desired results.
Establishing the right fee agreement starts with a conversation about:
- the nature and complexity of the legal work;
- the likelihood of a successful outcome;
- whether there is a specific deadline for completing the work;
- the client’s ultimate goals and objectives;
- the amount of access to our lawyers that the client needs;
- the extent of the work and/or investigation that can be performed by the client;
- the distribution of the financial risk between the client and the lawyer; and
- whether the client needs special payment terms.
There are many different fee arrangements that can be tailored to your specific situation. Typical fee arrangements include: (a) hourly rate billing; (b) modified hourly rate billing; (c) fixed fee billing; and, (d) contingency/success fee.
Hourly Rate Billing
Hourly rate billing is still the most common method of paying for legal services. With hourly rate billing, the lawyer tracks the time spent working on the matter. The client is sent a monthly bill detailing the work and time spent. The amount of time is then multiplied by the agreed hourly rate and charged to the client along with any expenses.
Our hourly rates are based on the traditional factors governing the setting of attorney’s fees. These include an evaluation of the complexity, novelty and difficulty of the legal questions involved, the total volume of business, and the overall demands on the firm’s resources and time. Depending on the specific legal matter, our hourly rates range between $225.00 to $325.00 an hour.
Modified Hourly Rate
A modified hourly rate is a more creative arrangement where the lawyer agrees to do the legal work at a discounted hourly rate in return for a success or performance payment based on the results obtained and/or the savings achieved. A modified hourly rate agreement may also include a floor and/or ceiling on the lawyer fees charged. The benefit to the client of this type of fee structure is that your initial costs are lower and your lawyer shares a vested interest in a successful outcome. In the right case, this type of fee arrangement better aligns the interests of the client and the law firm and can incentivize an earlier resolution.
A fixed fee eliminates the uncertainty that exists with hourly rate billing. From the client’s perspective, hourly rate cases often seem to drag on forever resulting in ever increasing legal fees and costs. With a fixed fee agreement, the client and the lawyer agree upfront on the total amount that the lawyer will be paid for handling the matter from start to finish. Depending on the situation, the agreed fixed fee may be paid up front, or it may be paid at various predetermined benchmarks. The primary impediment to establishing a mutually beneficial fixed fee arrangement is that it is often difficult to estimate the time required to resolve more complicated legal matters. In many situations, your own lawyer may have little control over the amount of time that it takes to resolve the case. This is because the other side can drag things out even though doing so increases the costs for everyone.
To meet the needs of startup and smaller businesses without breaking the bank, offer access to certain non-litigation legal services through an affordable prepaid flat fee. This type of arrangement provides the client to access to an experienced business attorney on an as needed basis for things like contract review, business formation, employment disputes and payment disputes.
In a contingency fee case, the lawyer and client are not paid until there is a settlement or jury verdict in favor of the client. The primary appeal of a contingency fee agreement is that it allows the client to obtain legal representation without having to pay any money up front. Under a contingency fee agreement, the lawyer agrees to pursue the client’s claim in return for a percentage of any recovery. Depending on the type of case, the likelihood of obtaining a favorable recovery, the likely potential recovery and how the expenses are paid — our contingency fees can range from 10% to 50% of the total recovery.
As part of the contingency fee, the law firm may also agree to advance the litigation related expenses. In other cases the litigation expenses may be shared, or the client may be required to pay all litigation costs. The amount of the contingency fee depends on a number of factors and how the risks are allocated between the lawyer and the client. Because the lawyer takes on the financial risk that there is no recovery, a contingency fee agreement often results in the client ultimately getting less money than the client would have received under some other fee arrangement.
Contact us to set up an Initial Consultation
To set up a meeting to discuss the best fee arrangement for your specific legal needs, please call us at 601-957-3101 or contact us online.