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Flat Fee Billing is NOT Like This Guy Kiteboarding!

I regularly hear other lawyers say that they are afraid to bill flat fee on most matters. Our lawyers bill most everything as a flat fee, some (but not all) litigation matter excepted.  Lawyers feel like they will loose control if they bill on a flat fee basis, much like this kitesurfer trying to launch as Tropical Storm Fay approaches ...

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Do you want to know more about flat fee billing, keep reading ...

As 'easy' as hourly billing may seem, it  is inferior to flat fee billing. We know. We billed by hours for most of our careers.  There is no comparison between the two models.  Flat fees are better for lawyers and clients.  many lawyers have tried to convince me otherwise.  Having lived in both worlds, any suggestion that hourly is superior to me just seems plain naive and idiotic.

Client appreciate the reliability of flat fees and the defined deliverables. Clients can make intelligent choices about which projects to move forward with and which ones are outside their budget. They receive cost certainty.  Because the lawyer is driving towards a set of defined deliverables, the client actually gets more for less with a flat fee.  Hiring another hourly lawyer who meanders around a legal matter almost always generates more low value work causing the bill to increase on items which are not needed. or desired by the client.

A lawyer WITH EXPERIENCE knows how much a set of deliverables will cost.  An hourly lawyer complaining about 'how much should I bill' likely doesn't haven't the experience in that particular legal matter. Much like our kiteboarding friend in the video, he/she may end up being thrown to the wind which will no doubt result in a harsh landing for both the lawyer (who loses money on a bad flat fee quote) and the client (who probably doesn't receive the promised deliverables).

Here are some flat fee posts for you to ponder before venturing into the flat fee water.


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