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Fixed fee work: is Eversheds ahead of the curve, or around the bend?

Interviews of law firm partners indulge in flattery and exaggeration, but what should law departments make of two assertions, in Met. Corp. Counsel, Vol. 14, May 2006 at 44, by an Eversheds partner (Paul Smith). Smith says that “Increasingly we’re doing more and more of our work on a fixed fee rather than an hourly basis,” and mentions M&A as well as “litigation in its various phases.”

Then he drops the bomb. “The hourly rate isn’t dead, but certainly, as far as we’re concerned, all of the work we do is moving rapidly toward a fixed fee basis.”

Bravado? Maybe. Self promotion? Certainly. Reality? I would guess the UK giant agrees fewer fixed fees than he claims. The glacier of hourly billing melts oh so slowly.