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Discounts based on the amount of associates leveraged on a matter?

The IBA Daily News, Oct. 5, 2010 at 1, quoted a panelist from a major New York firm on his firm’s view of discounts. “We look at hourly rates subject to discounts on highly leveraged work. So on an antitrust investigation with one partner and 20 associates, we would heavily discount the associates’ rates,” he said.

Indeed. Hordes of newbies invites discounts, if not complete write offs. The quoted speaker states the obvious.

But if clients believe that an individual partner, working solo on a matter, charges too much, a request for a discount could well be in the offing. The value to the client drives the severity of the discount requested. If the partner resists and accepts the potential loss of the client, that is the prerogative of the partner and the partner’s firm. That’s the way a market works.