Billable Hour No More? Increased Use of Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs) in Litigation in 2016 and Beyond
Increasingly, corporate legal departments have tried alternatives to the traditional hourly rate method of billing in law firms for litigation. These have included Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs). AFAs are gaining ground in litigation as law firms continue to reduce expenditures following the 2008 stock market crash. Many law firms started assessing and modifying their billing practices, and the majority adopted AFAs. Many banks, government agencies, and companies also are starting to shift from the hourly billing model to the AFA. One stimulus has been that AFA adoption has enhanced client retention and referral.
There is no guarantee that AFA will be ideally suited or applicable to every law firm because there are many nuanced issues in developing and executing an AFA engagement that is suitable to the client and the law firm. An AFA, like the traditional billable hour arrangement, is only one aspect of an attorney-client relationship and it goes beyond mere monetary valuation. Ultimately, a successful AFA is about a successful partnership that includes trust, communication, strategic alignment, scoping, staffing, tracking, and sound management.
Therefore, it is important that law firms consider a range of factors to ensure that the AFA engagement is compliant and consistent with the objectives of the client and the law firm.
This CLE course provides an overview of the latest trends and best practices regarding the Increased Use of Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs) in Litigation in 2016 and Beyond. A panel of thought leaders and practitioners assembled by The Knowledge Group will help firms better understand how to apply this billing method to economize and enhance client-attorney relationships.
Key topics include:
- Hourly Billing Vs. AFAs
- The Growing Need for AFAs
- Implications of the Increasing AFA Trend
- Common AFA Options
- Factors for Successful AFAs
- Litigation Risks and Pitfalls
- Best Practices in AFA Adoption
Stephen E. Baril, Shareholder
Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank PLC
- What are Alternative Fee Arrangements and How Do They Work?
- The Rise (and Fall?) of the Billable Hour
- Enter the AFA
- Forms of AFA
- What are the Risks of an AFA?
- Appropriate Risks for Clients
- Appropriate Risks for the Lawyer/Law Firm
- Trust as an Essential Element
- How Do You Start the AFA Negotiations?
- What to Bring to the Table
- What to Leave off the Table
- Can AFA Actually Save Clients Money?
John M. Riccione, Partner
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
- Problem (hourly billing) and Solution (AFA)
- AFA's Four Variables
- Case Study
- Client Objectives
- Pre-litigation Analysis
- Fee Structure
- The Results
- The Benefits
- How to Choose an AFA
Allegra J. Lawrence-Hardy, Partner
Lawrence & Bundy LLC
- AFA’s allow tighter cost-control, price predictability, better alignment between client and attorney on outcome/incentives.
- The fee arrangement should be structured in light of the facts known or knowable by the lawyer and the client at the time the agreement is made.
- Attorney/firm should carefully analyze all the tasks and services necessary for the representation before proposing the alternative fee structure to ensure that the firm will receive at least a fair value for its services, even in the worst-case scenario.
- Break representation into segments and understand that certain fee arrangements may be better-suited to certain types of tasks.
- Legal Project Management (LPM) initiatives enhance the firm’s client service, create efficiencies and add value for the client.
Who Should Attend:
- Litigation Lawyers
- In house counsel (Public & Private)
- Senior Executives
- Legal Counsel
- Other Related Professionals
Mr. Baril heads the firm’s Litigation and Government Relations Groups and is an advocate for business owners, executives and entrepreneurs, whether in the courtroom or before the General Assembly. Mr. Baril has over 30 years of experience handling complex business litigation and disputes. Much of his experience is in the infamous “Rocket Docket” of the Eastern District of Virginia where he began his career clerking for a U.S. District Court judge. Steve has been consistently recognized by his peers as a distinguished trial lawyer. He has an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell and has been listed for many years in “Best Lawyers in America” in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Banking & Finance Litigation and Trust & Estates Litigation, in “Super Lawyers,” and in “Legal Elite”. Over his career, he has also been deeply engaged in the political process and community service, including serving on Governor McDonnell’s “Jobs Commission” as co-chair of the new business recruitment and retention committees, on the Criminal Services Justice Board during Governor Gilmore’s administration, and as a candidate for the Republican nomination for the Attorney General. Steve currently serves as President of Lawyers Helping Lawyers, Chairman of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Treasurer of Richmond’s Future, Secretary-Treasurer of the Forum Club, and on the Board of Venture Richmond, along with a long history of service in other leadership capacities in the Richmond Community.
Mr. Baril heads the firm’s Litigation and Government Relations Groups and is an advocate for business owners, executives and entrepreneurs, …
John M. Riccione is a partner in Taft's Litigation practice in Chicago. His practice involves the representation of businesses in a wide array of complex commercial disputes, including real estate, construction claims, trade secrets, computer fraud and abuse, UCC warranties and remedies, and labor and employment. John has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer since 2005 and nominated by a Fortune 1000 client to BTI's Client Service All-Star Team, an honor extended to only 70 lawyers nationwide. He is a frequent speaker on the topics of alternative fee arrangements, non-compete agreements, commission disputes and Uniform Commercial Code warranties and remedies, to various trade and bar associations and client groups.
John M. Riccione is a partner in Taft's Litigation practice in Chicago. His practice involves the representation of businesses in …
Allegra Lawrence-Hardy uses creativity and results-oriented strategic analysis to develop legal solutions that work for her clients. Allegra focuses her practice on Business and Commercial Litigation and Labor and Employment. She works with her clients on complex commercial and labor and employment matters. She has successfully defended Fortune 100 companies throughout the United States and abroad in numerous trials, arbitrations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
Allegra is known for her skill in trying cases, negotiating complex settlements and finding creative solutions. She helps develop processes and tools for improving the efficiency and delivery of legal services.
Allegra served as a law clerk for the Honorable Susan H. Black of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She was recently recognized as Attorney of the Month by Attorney at Law Magazine and was named to the “Rainmakers” list by Diversity & the Bar for having an established record of generating business. Allegra has been repeatedly selected as a Georgia Local Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, and recognized by Chambers USA: Guide to Leading Business Lawyers. She has been repeatedly named to The Best Lawyers in America, and has been repeatedly selected for inclusion in Georgia Super Lawyers® “Top 50 Georgia Super Lawyers” and “Top 100 Georgia Super Lawyers.” Allegra is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.
Allegra Lawrence-Hardy uses creativity and results-oriented strategic analysis to develop legal solutions that work for her clients. Allegra focuses her …
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About Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank PLC
KVCF brings a comprehensive approach to legal services providing practical, timely legal advice in a cost-effective manner. We seek to provide the type of consistent, thorough, value-added service that can only be achieved by a true understanding of our clients' businesses. KVCF attorneys have deep experience who can deliver superior quality work with a focus on cost effectiveness, efficiency and timely responsiveness. With our competence, depth and responsiveness, as well as our unique understanding of issues facing middle market and smaller business, our clients receive priority attention and resourceful legal solutions. Our team of attorneys are talented, energetic and accustomed to providing, timely and well informed solutions to clients. They have been educated at tier one law schools and hail from the nation's most prominent law firms. They thrive on a fast-paced environment and are readily available, accessible and responsive to our clients needs.
About Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
At Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, delivering outstanding legal performance to help clients succeed is what drives and motivates our more than 400 attorneys every day. Taft has offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Covington, Kentucky; and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm practices across a wide range of industries, in virtually every area of law, including Business and Finance; Litigation; Labor and Employment; Intellectual Property; Business Restructuring, Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights; Environmental; Health and Life Sciences; Private Client Services; Real Estate; and Tax. With a proven track record of experience since 1885, the firm offers breadth and depth of legal expertise coupled with a trusted business perspective to help our clients reach their goals.
About Lawrence & Bundy LLC
Founded by Allegra Lawrence-Hardy and Thomas Bundy, the litigation firm Lawrence & Bundy delivers the results clients demand. With innovative problem solving and creative fee arrangements, the firm provides agile, effective, efficient solutions for clients nationwide. Lawrence & Bundy represents an array of sophisticated business entities and people in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, DC.