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Fixed fees for roughly two-thirds of Coachmen’s legal work, assigned to two firms

According to InsideCounsel, Feb. 2007 at 50, “several years ago” the general counsel of Coachmen Industries, Richard Lavers – now the CEO, asked four primary law firms, “firms he had worked with for years, to bid on a package of commodity type matters.” Lavers selected two of the firms and placed with them “common compliance and transactional matters and routine litigation and warranty work under an annual fixed fee paid in monthly increments.”

All the components of a successful fixed-fee arrangement were in place: known and trusted firms, an aggregated volume of work, a multi-year period of time, buyers and sellers both willing to complete an alternative fee arrangement, and careful attention to the terms and understandings – Lavers notes that “the process was indeed time-consuming.” Other law departments have bundled a wide array of prospective matters and negotiated comprehensive, cover-all fees from one or more law firms to handle those matters (See my post of Sept. 14, 2005 on Cisco’s flat fee arrangements covering around $50 million of services.).