10 Ways to Squeeze More Value Out of Your Legal Costs

  • What’s included? Are proposed team members’ hourly rates and estimated hours identified?
  • What’s not included? What are the potential budget-busters? Are jury consultants, travel and incidental costs budgeted?
  • Can the budget for phases be reduced to meet your litigation goals? Are there tasks you can perform at lower cost?

Determine whether the firm is low-balling. A firm using a budget it cannot meet defeats your goal of controlling costs and sows discontent. Revisit the budget regularly to monitor compliance and to identify needed modifications.

8. Align financial incentives. With alternative fee arrangements (“AFAs”), clients can demand law firms put skin in the game. AFAs offer budgeting predictability and the opportunity for a creative arrangement optimal for both client and firm. Examples include flat fees, collared fees, reduced rates with a success fee, and many others.

9. Monitor staffing. Seek a lean, focused team. Ask for team members’ positions, experience, and responsibilities. Ensure the team’s experience is suited to your matter. Diverse teams offer varied perspectives, creating an informed end product and better results. No team members should be added without your approval.

10. Focus on value. A firm with lower hourly rates doesn’t guarantee cost savings. Lower cost providers may bill twice the hours of a higher-rate provider with great expertise. Seek a quality result at a reasonable cost. That’s value.

Satisfaction with legal representation correlates directly with the value received. With these 10 tips, you’re on your way to getting value for every dollar spent.

end product and better results. No team members should be added without your approval.

  1. Focus on value. A firm with lower hourly rates doesn’t guarantee cost savings. Lower cost providers may bill twice the hours of a higher-rate provider with great expertise. Seek a quality result at a reasonable cost. That’s value.

Satisfaction with legal representation correlates directly with the value received. With these 10 tips, you’re on your way to getting value for every dollar spent.

Sullivan_Christopher00Christopher P. Sullivan is a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., where he practices in civil jury trials and complex litigation.

Holmes_Morgia00Morgia D. Holmes is a business litigation associate at the firm. They can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.