Our Philosophy on Attorney Fees
Our Philosophy on Attorney Fees, Alternate Fee Arrangements, and Litigation Funding
Legal representation on non-litigation and litigation matters without a doubt involve both risks and rewards. As a law firm, we work very hard to achieve the client’s goals. Results matters but so do costs.
Because we are super specialists in our field of IP and FDA law, we know our subject matter cold. And because we know our subject matter cold and because of our expertise in litigation, we can predict process, procedure, and costs.
Unlike other law firms, we do not evaluate or incentivize our attorneys based on billable hour production. That is, we do not award bonuses to lawyers who bill over a quota. In our experience, this specifically creates a disincentive to provide fast, quality, efficient work in a matter. Billable hour production quotas breed inefficiency, hoarding of lower level work by higher level attorneys, and increase client costs.
We use project management and litigation knowledge management tools to refine our processes, streamline our work, automate that which can be automated, and utilize our databanks of briefs/filings/reports to avoid duplicating work. In short, we leverage our assets.
Our View on AFA’s and Litigation Funding
When the representation demands, we are very open to Alternate Fee Arrangements. We also work very well with litigation funding companies to mutually align interests and help clients vindicate its goals.
Because we are confident in our skills, predictions, competencies, and results, we are not afraid of AFA’s. We have never engaged in busy work. We have never engaged in duplicative or redundant work. Rather we leverage our skills and prior work product. We want to ensure that the client’s needs for cost controls are being met.
The AFAs provide for aligning costs, determine values, and predictability of costs.
Common AFA Models for Litigation
Flat Rate/Fixed Fees – we use this model to provide consistency, predictability of cash flows (which is much appreciated by the client’s accounting department), and simplicity. In this model, we negotiate a flat or fixed rate and then bill according a mutually agreed upon monthly amount.
Phase Based Fees – Many litigations lend themselves to predictable procedures. We can help determine phases to a lawsuit and bill fees according to a phase schedule.
Blended Rates – our firm prides itself on providing excellent value for the services. We assign work to the lowest level of cost provider ensuring that quality is still met. However, we understand that clients may want to avoid different attorneys billing at different rates. We can provided a blended rate where each attorney is billed at the same rate.
Discount with Success Fee – in this model, we normalize our billing rate at 100% and then apply a discount. We also define a successful outcome target. If the target is not met, then the discounted fee is all the client pays. If the target is met, then the firm recovers the discounted amount (i.e., back to 100%) and then earns an additional success fee above the 100%. In this model, the client and we have a mutual interest in success and both have “skin in the game.”
Pure Contingency – our firm does not normally engage in pure contingency cases. We will, however, for the very rare, but right case, evaluate a pure contingency.
For Litigation Funding, we have a network of funders that we can tap to help clients fund litigation. There are many models in litigation funding that can provide a win-win-win for clients, funders, and our firm. Litigation funding is often associated with plaintiff-side work, but such funding can be available for defense-side work too.