Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brunswick, K&L Gates Describe Fixed-Fee Billing

The Chicago Tribune carries an interesting story by Chicago Law columnist Ameet Sachdev titled "Understanding the Flat-Fee Contract for Legal Services."

Brunswick Corp., the maker of boats and other leisure equipment, cut legal costs for outside litigation services by 30% in 2009. The volume of legal work, on the other hand, quadrupled. The partner in charge, David Rammelt, actually moved from Kelley, Drye & Warren to K&L Gates in order to accommodate the client.

Both sides claim success, including better use of technology by the law firm for forced efficiencies.

This Rainmaking Lady observes a win-win here, as well as a peek at the relationship of the future. Expenses drop for the corporate client, while profitability certainly must drop for the law firm. The client's "switching cost," however, increased significantly. Mr. Rammelt has found a way to assure a client for the long term. If this can be viewed as a pilot project, presumably the business model can be easily extended to other firm clients.

It's worth a read.

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