Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Will billables go bye bye?

I am sure many of you read Jonathan D. Glatners article in the New York Times on November 12, 2008, entitled "Law Firms Feel Strain of Layoffs and Cutbacks": http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/business/12law.html?emc=eta1

The most compelling passage to me had to do with the demise of the billable hour, which is a buzzing topic in the legal press of late:

"A survey of about 600 corporate executives by Acritas, a London-based research firm, found that 32 percent expected billing practices to change over the next two years.
'Rather than having hourly rates, we are increasingly negotiating flat fees or fixed fees, or success fees,' which include a premium based on predetermined conditions, said Ivan K. Fong, chief legal officer and secretary at Cardinal Health in Dublin, Ohio, and chairman of the Association of Corporate Counsel. Some law firms have resisted those changes, he continued, but may find they have to accept clients’ wishes.'"

So do you think the billables will die? and how soon from now . . . .

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