As you all know, I’m not much of a fan of hourly billing. Sometimes, we do it in litigation as part of a blended arrangement where we share risk with the client. This can either be a flat fee cap or a contingency fee component to hourly work. But a story I heard from a client the other day got me thinking. What are the worst billing practices used by lawyers? Here’s my list:
- Calling a client who doesn’t have a live project to find out how they or their company are doing and then sending a bill to the client for the time spent on the phone.
- Offering to pay for a lunch with the client and then sticking that as a “cost” item on the bill.
- Billing time that doesn’t add any value to the matter.
- Billing for cover letters which contain no substance or analysis.
- Billing the client time when they question the bill.