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Getting a fix on fixed fees

This blog has come at the topic of fixed fees from a flexibly broad range of perspectives.

Some posts have focused on terminology (See my posts of Nov. 22, 2006: “capped fees” vs. “fixed fees”; Nov. 6, 2005: per case vs. per group of cases; Nov. 22, 2006: “fixed” vs. “flat”; April 5, 2006: compared to retainer fees; and May 24, 2006: unit billing.).

The mechanics and negotiation of fixed-fee arrangements have cropped up (See my posts of Nov. 24, 2007: law department must commit to certain levels of support; Sept. 13, 2006: out-of-pocket disbursements; Dec. 15, 2005 and Jan. 25, 2006: fees per stage, activity or milestone; Dec. 7, 2005: collars to prevent injustice; Dec. 10, 2007; flexibility, always upward it seems; Oct. 31, 2007: competitive bidding processes; May 26, 2007: typical time periods for an arrangement to apply; Sept. 4, 2006: budgets and fixed fees; Sept. 13, 2006: still need to review bills; and Jan. 13, 2008: delay in the process saps the appeal.).

Entries have catalogued a variety fixed fees in different practice areas (See my posts of Nov. 25, 2005: appellate work and employment-related position statements; Oct. 29, 2007 and Sept. 10, 2005: litigation; May 23, 2007: patents; May 17, 2006: Eversheds; and May 19, 2006 #2: American Greeting and litigation.).

What law departments can save looms large (See my posts of Sept. 14, 2005: 70% of Cisco’s spend; March 4, 2007: two-thirds of Coachmen’s spend; July 3, 2007: bill-review time saved; Aug. 5, 2007: how to prove savings; May 9, 2007: Pitney-Bowes 15% saved.).

Both law departments and law firms express reservations about fixed-fee arrangements (See my posts of Dec. 6, 2007: magnitude of uncertainties; Dec. 17, 2007: risk counterbalanced by a potential premium; May 16, 2006: encourage clients to demand more than they’re paying for; Sept. 3, 2006: double-entendre; July 4, 2006: insurance coverage; and Aug. 5, 2007: quality of work may decline as the fee runs out.).

Other aspects of fixed fees have also deserved comment (See my posts of Feb. 16, 2006: wrap in firm management measures; March 11, 2007: few examples of law firms that change how they operate; and March 11, 2007: law firm creativity and fixed-fee arrangements.).