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Million-dollar “signing bonus” just for the privilege of retaining a law firm!

An adulatory profile of David Boies mentions that his firm “imitates investment banks by charging flat fees.” That puts them at the cutting edge of law firms since Boies Schiller takes on some major cases. It was the next line that floored me, from Fortune, Nov. 1, 2010 at 92.

“A signing bonus, for example, can be $10 million – regardless of how much lawyer time actually gets put in.” If a general counsel genuinely believes that one particular lawyer holds the keys to the magic kingdom, that lawyer dominates the terms of engagement. But $10 million for the privilege of snagging a particular partner?