This is the first article in a four-article series - Getting Away From the Hourly Rate - in which my co-author and I explored the relevance of value-related qualities (VRQs) to various aspects of client/counsel relationships.
In the third article, my co-author and I explored the importance of a well-designed and implemented team approach to legal work in order to maximize the value realized by the client from the lawyers' efforts.
This article, the last in Getting Away From the Hourly Rate, established the basis for moving toward higher value legal service through the application of the VRQ concept within the context of the client/counsel relationship.
This article consists of a question-and-answer approach to the topic of the value of legal service in the context of a discussion of fee arrangements and the benefits and hurdles related to moving away from time-based billing.
This article, co-authored for the Association of Corporate Counsel, explores how to use value-related qualities (VRQs) to further a meaningful conversation between outside counsel and a corporate client regarding the latter's view of the value of the lawyers' work.
How can a business entity's vision of how its lawyers' work relates to its pursuit of its business goals and whether that work adds value in the process be incorporated when designing a fee arrangement for the lawyers' work for that client?
All too often, lawyers commence their work for clients with insufficient understanding and appreciation of how those clients view the role of the legal service in achieving the clients' business objectives.
Law firms typically claim, in varying ways, that client service is their highest priority. Unfortunately, however, their actions often undercut that claim to one degree or another. For in-house attorneys who select external lawyers on behalf of their companies, "relationship" issues often dominate the selection process.
Implementing a true client-centered approach to the service of corporate clients requires that law firms understand exactly what clients want with greater particularity than they often do now. Much of that, however, focuses on how those clients "value" the service that they receive and the firms that provide it.