The current economic climate will incline lawyers, specifically litigators, to rethink their fee structures. With inflation at a 40-year high, residential and commercial rents rising, and a predicted looming recession, clients are tightening their budgets, but also demanding the same level of service and results from their attorneys.

Law firms have long offered alternatives to the traditional hourly billing framework, such as monthly retainers and flat fees, predominantly in the areas of real estate and corporate transactions. For litigators, taking certain cases on contingency, such as personal injury also is a norm. But flat fee and contingency compensation arrangements are challenging for trial attorneys because the time lawyers spent litigating a case can be unpredictable. Similarly, the size of a damages claim often is not quantifiable. This is especially true in areas such as construction defects litigation, where developing discovery and experts drive the numbers, and in class actions, where acquiring class action status is uncertain.

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