August 14, 2022

A Radical Notion? Pay Lawyers for Results, Not for Time …

The following quote jumped out at me as I was reading the latest book from marketing expert Jeffrey Fox in his book How to be a Fierce Competitor: What Winning Companies and Great Managers Do in Tough Times:

Lawsuits are expensive, risky and an enormous expenditure and diversion of management time. (So manage and pay your lawyers for results, not hours billed.)

What a radical notion?

Have you had success in transitioning your outside legal counsel from an hourly billing arrangement to an alternative fee arrangement or “pay-for-results arrangement?


  1. Charles Beans says:

    It's thought provoking. I agree the billable hour is a badly inefficient system, for both sides. However, when results don't always correlate to the quality of service provided, I don't think that works either. Plus, it sounds too much like "money back if not satisfied" which no service provider promises.

  2. Kevin Quinley says:

    Good point, Charlie! It’s easy to endorse “pay for results” conceptually but tough to device one for legal assignments that balances the need for equity. I’ve got to believe that some variation of AFA’s could be devised to get us part way toward pay for performance, without subjecting service providers to capricious non-payment or reduced payment outcomes. Perhaps grist for a future blog! Thanks!

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