Budgeting and Negotiating Fees with Clients: A Lawyer's Guide

A must-have handbook with advice, tips, and tactics for negotiating client fees, with guidance on how to handle fee challenges on both an operational and a strategic level.

 

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Description

With legal fees coming under increasing scrutiny, all law firms, whether they charge by the hour or operate AFAs, will need to negotiate fees with their clients. Budgeting and Negotiating Fees with Clients: A Lawyer's Guide is a must-have handbook for individual lawyers, firm leaders, and directors of support services who are looking to tackle these challenges head on at both an operational and a strategic level. It provides:

  • Clear analysis of the increasing importance of budgeting and negotiating fees for all firms – whether they have adopted AFAs or rely on hourly billing;
  • A step-by-step guide for improving individual behaviour and firm-wide processes in relation to fees; and
  • Practical tools for generating consistently profitable fee structures.

Supported by case studies from law firms and law firm clients, along with input from other management consultants, this report covers topics including:

  • The fee models adopted by different law firms;
  • How AFAs are intensifying the need for budgeting and negotiating skills;
  • Understanding law firm financial data – a prerequisite for successful budgeting and negotiation;
  • Creating a realistic matter budget;
  • Overcoming obstacles to negotiating fees effectively;
  • Managing the negotiation process effectively;
  • Obtaining the desired fees and structures;
  • Developing a strategy for better budgeting and negotiating;
  • Implementing change and embedding best practice;
  • Business tools for budgeting, negotiating, and client communication;
  • How to operate value billing; and
  • Best practice law firm negotiation from a client's perspective.

This invaluable resource also includes supporting checklists and templates to allow readers to start putting the lessons learned into practice immediately.

Contents

Chapter 1: The universal law firm fee continuum

Chapter 2: How AFAs are intensifying the need for budgeting and negotiating skills

Chapter 3: Alternative fees – Risks and how to avoid them

Chapter 4: Understanding law firm financial data – A prerequisite for successful budgeting and negotiating

Chapter 5: Creating a realistic matter budget

Chapter 6: Staying within budget – The art of legal project management

Chapter 7: Overcoming obstacles to negotiating fees

Chapter 8: Managing the negotiation process

Chapter 9: How to obtain the desired fees and structures

Chapter 10: Tips, tactics and tricks

Chapter 11: Developing a strategy for better budgeting and negotiating

Chapter 12: Implementing change and embedding best practice

 

Part Two: Case studies

Case study 1: DMH Stallard LLP – Business tools for budgeting, negotiating and client communication

Case study 2: Crowell & Moring LLP – Using AFAs and value-based billing

Case study 3: A client perspective

 

Part Three: Appendices

Appendix 1: Matter plan template

Appendix 2: Matter budget template

Appendix 3: Pre-negotiation checklist

Full Contents and Summary

Authors

Sally Dyson
Sally Dyson is the director of Firm Sense Limited, a legal and professional services sector specialist consultancy where she provides a combination of client listening, executive coaching, and business skills training to help her clients to enhance their personal and team xiii Innovations in Client Experience effectiveness and to create and implement client-focused success strategies. Sally’s experience working both as a private practice solicitor and as an in-house lawyer inspired her to found Firm Sense to bridge the communication gap between professional services providers and their clients. In addition to her legal qualifi cations, Sally received her business coach training by undertaking the Meyler Campbell “Mastered” program accredited by the Association for Coaching. Sally is able to administer a range of psychometric and aptitude tests, holds a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and is a Member of the Market Research Society. Sally is the author of two books for lawyers published by ARK Group: Client Listening: Why it Pays and How to Do it and Budgeting and Negotiating Fees with Clients: A Lawyer’s Guide.

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