A daring idea regarding a periodic alternative to hourly billing – department decides payment periodically

Put this in your pipe and smoke it. Let’s assume a law firm is handling several matters at the same time for a law department. Let’s assume they agree that periodically, perhaps every fifth month, the firm describes for each matter what it did but not its hours, rates, or amount of the bill. It submits, therefore, its time sheet entries and a summary of what it did during the month and how that benefited the client.

The legal department decides what it wil pay for that month’s work.

Rinse and repeat. Keep this going long enough to test whether it works for both sides (See my post of Nov. 11, 2007: imbalance between fees and value delivered; Nov. 28, 2007: partly blame for this falls on legal department; and Feb. 4, 2007 on the difficulty of stating a dollar value for what a firm accomplishes.).

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