Three comments on special fee arrangements touted by a law firm’s brochure

Excerpt from Kirkland & Ellis’ brochure, “Partnering with Clients Through Legal Risk Sharing,” appeared on a slide at a recent webinar.

“In certain matters, we have taken part of our fee in equity or stock” (See my post of Jan. 18, 2009: share prices, event studies and litigation with 6 references.). That could turn out to be lucrative, if the market reacts to positive legal developments in a major lawsuit.

“Once the Kirkland partner is familiar with the background facts, he or she will submit a proposal to the firms SFA [special fee arrangement] Committee for guidance and approval.” The interpolation of such a committee drags out negotiations over fee arrangements (See my post of Nov. 6, 2007: time constraints on special fee arrangements; and Jan. 13, 2008: delay saps attractiveness of alternative fee arrangements.).

“Some clients like special fee arrangements for their cash flow benefits” (See my post of Jan. 7, 2009: retainer billing and payment with 7 references.). This implies a set amount paid, a retainer, barely an alternative fee, mostly a change in payment timing.

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