Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Big law firms love the billable hour. For most corporate firms, the profit model is built on a multiplier of billable hours and associate leverage. The more lawyers that work on a matter and the more hours that are billed, the more their partners make. Metrics like associate billable hours, realization, and underutilization drive the business. And, for the most part, corporate counsel tolerate it. Why is the billable hour an accurate measure of the value of service? It does not have to be—take a look at how plaintiffs’ lawyers do business.

Typically, plaintiffs' lawyers do not bill by the hour. They can't. Their recovery is based on success in a particular case. Before accepting a case, plaintiffs' lawyers must develop a cost model for the case and, usually, structure a fee percentage based on the value of the case. If cases drag on (as big firm lawyers like them too), plaintiffs' lawyers can lose money.

Since the 2008 recession, in-house counsel have fought back against the hourly billing model—sending out RFPs requesting flat fees and alternative fee arrangements. Corporate counsel have successfully implemented the plaintiffs’ lawyer model when their client is suing another large company. But the plaintiffs' model and approach offers some lessons for companies evaluating firms for defense work as well.

We have 10 tips for corporate counsel to keep in their pocket as they evaluate their next outside counsel RFP:

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at customercare@alm.com


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2019 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.