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Some things to do differently on the second iteration of a fixed-fee arrangement

The first experiment with competitive bids for fixed-fee arrangements having been conducted by many law departments, their general counsel contemplate the next round. What can they do differently to improve the process and outcome?

All manner of improvements to the RFP process might help. As discussed on this blog, these range from a better-crafted description of the work to conference calls to tighter selection of candidate firms to more objective methods of selecting winners.

The data obtained during the first tranche of set fee work can inform the second round (See my post of May 25, 2011: don’t ask for bills with hours on the first round.), such as to frame costs, scope the work, or set benchmarks.

The roles of the inside lawyers and which matters they recognize to fall into the fixed fee can improve. As an example of the first, the law firm may want more access directly to clients; for the second, some matters may evolve out of the pool (See my post of Aug. 22, 2011: carve outs and evolve outs.).

Data can always be collected more comprehensively and analyzed more usefully. With consolidated, consistent time records, many more metrics become reliable.