Quarterly retainers billed and paid in advance. Do law departments stand up and cheer?

A site hosted by JURIS, which offers a leading law-firm time and billing system, has a post (Aug. 1, 2005) that urges firms to use retainer billing, especially retainers for the coming quarter in advance, and to periodically renegotiate the retainer rate based on activity. The note closes with the sanguine comment that corporate clients, “under the gun to manage their budget,” are ”willing to pay in advance for a billing arrangement that lets them forecast legal expenditures for the coming quarter.”

Not in my humble opinion. Law departments want to reduce costs, not to budget with certainty high costs.

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