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About a year ago, the legal department at Microsoft announced it would be shifting away from the billable hour in the vast majority of our outside counsel arrangements. In describing these intentions, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel David Howard wrote about forging “a new type of relationship” with the firms handling Microsoft’s most important legal work.

Much of the discussion around this shift focused on its economic ramifications and on framing this move as another step toward the long-anticipated demise of the billable hour in favor of alternative fee arrangements.


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