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To freeze billing rates on specific matters might be better than to obtain discounts

You might easily obtain from one of your primary law firms a discount on its standard hourly rates of, let us say, five percent. You could pat yourself on the back.

A few months later, the firm might raise its billing rates by, let’s say, an average of eight percent. Your discount is a candle blown away by the rate increase.

For this reason, you might want to think about having the law firm agree to freeze the billing rates of its key lawyers for the duration of the matter or two years, whichever comes sooner (See my post of Dec. 17, 2007: freezing billing rates for the duration of a matter.). Effectively, you then obtain a discount because of the foregone billing rate increase.