Increased certainty in legal expenditures. A closer alignment between value, legal services and case results. This is what clients have always sought and we continually innovate ways to meet these expectations. We appreciate our clients’ budgetary concerns and are proactively devising alternatives to hourly-rate billing for clients wanting these choices.
Focused on Alternatives
In our active pursuit of practical alternatives to traditional billing, Archer Norris welcomes the opportunity to work with you.
There are several factors that influence fee structures. Compensation should be commensurate with the results we achieve for our clients. It should also reflect the work and risk undertaken by the Firm. As this area of lawyer-client relations evolves, success will require flexibility and a willingness to try new things on the part of both the client and the law firm.
Our goal is to develop The Archer Norris Alternative – adaptable and creative fee structures centered around the cost certainty and high-quality services that clients desire. The Archer Norris Alternative is driven by Firm lawyers, widely recognized for their can-do attitudes and hands-on approaches, who are:
Innovative and responsive
Enthusiastic about partnering with clients
Efficient and cost effective
Focused on Value and Choice
In our exploration of appropriate and attractive value-driven structures, Archer Norris attorneys want to hear from clients about which alternative fee arrangements are most suitable to their needs. This might include a blended billing rate or a fixed fee for routine matters.
We recently negotiated the following alternative fee arrangements with our clients:
Success Based Arrangement - Archer Norris partner Rick Norris recently negotiated a hybrid contingency fee arrangement with a privately held Southern California company. The company wanted to pursue its claim but reduce its ongoing expenses. Archer Norris was familiar with the claim and willing to offer a significant discount in exchange for a contingent interest in the final settlement or judgment. The solution combined reduced hourly fees with a contingent fee of a percentage of the client's recovery in excess of a specified amount. Based on the our analysis of the case, Archer Norris will be rewarded for its risk sharing and the client will enjoy the immediate benefits of reduced litigation expense. This alternative fee agreement allows Archer Norris to partner with our client to control costs and share the risks and rewards of litigation.
Fixed Fee Agreement - For a national bank with a significant California presence, Archer Norris partner Doug Straus presented an arrangement to handle its statewide litigation services on a fixed fee basis. The bank experiences a high volume of claims arising from foreclosures. In concert with our client, we identified the most common law suits and defense tasks and created silos of services arising in each category of claim. The proposal included a fixed fee for each identified silo of services, covering virtually all of the services to be rendered in connection with the bank's California litigation. In order to protect both the client and the law firm, we proposed a "collar" which establishes a floor and a ceiling on effective hourly rate. An annual review of fees will confirm that the effective hourly rate falls within the agreed upon range. If it does not, Archer Norris will refund fees in excess of the range or the client will pay additional fees to meet the floor of the range. This fixed fee arrangement with a collar will give our client greater certainty and protects both parties from unreasonably high or low effective hourly rates.
We currently offer a variety of mutually beneficial alternative fee arrangements. Here are some examples that work well for our clients:
A flat rate for particular projects both in the context of litigation and transactions. For instance, when appropriate, Archer Norris has devised fixed fee agreements for preparation of a Motion for Summary Judgment in litigation and fixed fee for various contract negotiations and due diligence assignments. Fixed fees are negotiated with the client on a case by case basis.
A reduced fee, plus a multiple of the reduced fee payable as a success fee. This involves a fraction of the rate, plus a success fee calculated as a multiple of the rate upon achievement of an agreed-upon case result.
A pure contingency fee, as well as a reduced fee plus a percentage of a recovery or cost avoidance, basis.
A straight retainer basis.
A guaranteed volume-based discount basis.
Focused on Reaching Client Goals
We will work with you to develop alternative fee arrangements that meet your needs and goals.
In our exploration of billing methods and approaches, we have found that the standard practice of billing by the hour - coupled with sensitivity to the importance of a particular case and a close relationship with the client - can still provide the best representation at a reasonable cost. If you are comfortable with an hourly rate, Archer Norris can offer discounted rates predicated on an agreed-upon minimum volume of work.
Focused on Meeting the Challenge of Excellence
At the foundation of all the fee structures we offer you is Archer Norris’ support of the ACC Value Challenge. This global professional initiative intends to better align law firm business models with “what clients want and need: value-driven, high quality legal services that deliver solutions for a reasonable cost and develop lawyers as counselors, advocates and professional partners.” .
Our approach to ongoing client satisfaction starts with conscientious project management and follows through with benchmarks of excellence and achievement until the matter’s favorable conclusion. Working productively and cost-consciously, Archer Norris attorneys make full use of high-efficiency business tools, techniques and practices in the areas of:
Budgeting and reporting
Electronic billing and case management
Staffing and legal outsourcing
Focused on Solutions
Intrigued? So are we. Archer Norris invites our clients to join us at the forefront of the changing legal landscape and welcomes hearing your perspective on the billable hour. Mutual understanding and respect always lead to the best results. Just as we seek creative solutions to our clients’ legal issues, Archer Norris’ alternative fees committee adopts a similarly open-minded approach when setting fees and tailoring rates to the matter at hand. We are very interested in partnering with our clients to explore solutions that work. Please let us know how we can help you manage the legal services you need.