Our Innovative Pricing Model for Legal Fees
How many purchases do you make without knowing the cost ahead of time? Why should legal services be any different? Value pricing is a term used to describe a pricing model that sets fees based on the value of the work done for the client. We use a value pricing model whenever possible. Value pricing is done before the work begins so that you know how much you can expect to pay ahead of time. Here’s how it works:
- You provide the attorney with basic information about your situation, including the facts involved and the goals of the representation. (See the FAQs section for information on our consultation charges.)
- You and the attorney discuss the various options available to you. The attorney can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each option and chose the quickest and least expensive way to reach your goals.
- Once a decision is made, the attorney develops a scope of work and gives you a customized, fixed fee before representation begins. As long as the scope of work does not change due to unexpected circumstances, this fixed fee is the amount you can expect to pay.
The up-front fee model allows you to weigh the costs of legal representation against the benefits and make an informed decision about how to proceed with your legal affairs. Value pricing also encourages open communication between attorney and client. Because you are not “on the clock” for every phone call or e-mail, you can feel free to contact the attorney with your questions or concerns, knowing that you won’t be nickel-and-dimed for every response.
Comparison to Hourly Billing
Value pricing is often distinguished from the more traditional hourly billing model used by most law firms. Instead of focusing on the value provided to the client, this model focuses on the work done by the attorney. While there is nothing unethical about hourly billing, it has a few major drawbacks:
- Rewarding Inefficiency. The hourly billing model rewards inefficiency. The attorney is paid more for putting more time into the matter, even if the additional work doesn’t add much value to the client. Instead of being motivated to complete the matter quickly and efficiently, the attorney is rewarded for taking more time to complete the work.
- Unclear Expectations. Costs are difficult to forecast in the hourly-billing model. In many cases, all that the attorney can say is that the cost will depend on how much time is spent on the matter. Many clients are not familiar with how much work can go into a matter. Without an up-front cost estimate, clients often have unrealistic expectations as to the total amount that they expect to spend. This can lead to unpleasant surprises when the final bill arrives.
- Stifled Communication. Hourly billing can stifle attorney-client communication. When a client makes a 15-minute phone call to an attorney that uses an hourly-billing model, the client will be billed for .25 hours of attorney time. Assuming the attorney’s hourly rate is $250, every 15-minute call will cost the client $62.50. The natural result of this model is to discourage attorney-client communication. Because the client is reluctant to contact the attorney, questions go unanswered and concerns are not addressed.
Our innovative pricing model doesn’t suffer from these drawbacks. It rewards the attorney for being more efficient in handling the matter, it provides the client with an up-front fee quote so that the client knows what to expect, and it allows the client to communicate freely with the attorney, without fear of unpleasant surprises when the bill comes.
For these reasons, we believe that value pricing is a better way to do business. We haven’t figured out how to apply it to every case (give us time). But we use this model for all estate planning and asset preservation work, and all business matters that do not involve litigation. We also have flat fees for trust administration matters that do not involve disputes.
It is our goal to provide you with outstanding big-firm quality work for a reasonable price and the personal attention you would expect from a friend. Please contact us today–we welcome the opportunity to be of service.
Our Flat Fee Prices and Fees
Please see these pages for a complete listing of our flat fee based services pricing and hourly rates when flat fees do not apply:
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Pricing Model:
Why do you price this way?
Simply put, we believe this model provides the most value to our clients, unlike the traditional hourly billing model which suffers from major drawbacks, as stated above.
Does the Flat Fee Structure apply to all legal services you offer?
Unfortunately it does not. We’ve tried to think of every legal problem we handle that can work with a flat fee structure — and if you present a new problem to us that we haven’t considered, we will try to find a way to apply a flat fee to that as well. However, sometimes a flat fee just won’t work. For example, for most lawsuit representation, a flat fee won’t work because lawsuits are so unpredictable. You will notice that our dispute resolution service has an hourly component for the same reason. However, even if a flat fee doesn’t apply, we offer some of the most competitive fee structures around.
What kind of an attorney works for a flat fee?
An attorney who recognizes that most businesses don’t want legal matters to control their lives or their profit-margins. We try to build a base of happy clients by being straightforward and honest. And even though we have impressive educations and experience, we are totally transparent — no tricks up our sleeves. We simply seek to provide high-quality, reliable services to high-quality, reliable people.
We want to be on your team, and look forward to the opportunity to be of service!