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When you negotiate a fixed-fee deal with a firm, have an Executive Board partner sign it

A general counsel was describing a flat-fee arrangement he struck with a firm to handle about a million dollars of work in three buckets of services. Among other observations, he stressed that if a law department fashions something unusual like that, it is very important that the partner who agrees to it has the clout to carry through. A member of the firm’s governing group has that influence as do big kahuna rainmakers.

Otherwise, sniping, second-guessing, politics, and criticism within the firm may undermine a partner’s ability to honor the terms of the arrangement with you.