Value-Related Fee Arrangements

A fresh perspective on achieving value through appropriate fees

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Despite increasing resistance to the billable hour firms and clients are still struggling to find suitable, workable alternatives that suit the needs of the client as well as the law firm. Need a hand?  

Managing Partner’s new report - Value-Related Fee Arrangements - represents a fresh perspective on achieving value through appropriate fees.

Using practical examples the report provides a comprehensive review of the current state of fee structures in today’s legal market.

A clear framework and guidance is then set out to help you identify your clients’ value-related qualities (VRQs) for specific types of engagements and to devise fee arrangements that meet their unique needs and expectations.

Value-Related Fee Arrangements examines a range of critical topics with invaluable insight into both the client and law firm perspective. These include:

  • The key benefits and costs of AFAs that are available;
  • The impact and benefits of migration from fixed fees to AFAs;
  • Factors to consider when planning and developing an appropriate fee arrangement;
  • Using task-based budgeting as the mechanism to achieve a new pricing;
  • Key metrics and management in relation to fee structures;
  • Overcoming the obstacles to wider use of alternative fee arrangements;
  • Improving relationships and communication with clients; and
  • The use of project management, Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma and other management approaches, in practice.

Real-life case studies from Baker & McKenzie, KONE Corporation, First Group America, Inc. and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. demonstrate how value-related fees are currently being implemented with success.

These along with useful examples from American Express, Motorola, Prudential and Stanford University make Value-Related Fee Arrangements the ultimate resource for developing and implementing appropriate fees within your firm.  


Chapter 1:  The current state of legal fees

Chapter 2:  The pressure to adopt fee arrangements not based on the hourly rate

Chapter 3:  Alternative fee arrangements – The reality

Chapter 4:  Wanted: A more manageable and useful approach to defining value and designing fee arrangements

Chapter 5:  Value – It’s really a series of subordinate, value-related qualities

Chapter 6:  Different types of fee arrangements

Chapter 7:  Examples of successful appropriate fee arrangements

Chapter 8:  Case studies

Chapter 9:  Designing an objective-oriented fee arrangement

Chapter 10: A new approach to cost control

Chapter 11: Metrics and management

Chapter 12: Overcoming hurdles and vaulting to the next level

Chapter 13: The use of project management, Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma and other management approaches


Steven A Lauer
As principal of Lauer & Associates, Steven A. Lauer consults with law departments and law firms on the value of legal service. He assists them to better align and recalibrate the cost and value of legal service delivered to corporations and other business entities. Steve served as corporate counsel for Global Compliance Services in Charlotte, North Carolina, specializing in data protection and privacy for that hotline and compliance services company. Before that, he served for over two years as director of Integrity Research for Integrity Interactive Corporation, in which capacity he conducted research, wrote white papers and otherwise worked with clients and potential clients of the company on issues related to corporate ethics and compliance programs. Those two positions culminated Steve’s almost ten years in the compliance industry. Previously, he consulted with corporate law departments and law firms on issues relative to how in-house and outside counsel work together after spending over 13 years as an in-house attorney in the real estate industry, in law departments ranging in size from two attorneys to over 300 attorneys and as the sole in-house attorney for an organization, serving as its general counsel for over a year. He also spent over two years as executive vice president, deputy editor and deputy publisher of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, a monthly journal for in-house attorneys. For six years prior to becoming an in-house attorney, he was in private practice. From April 1989 until May 1997, Steve was an assistant general counsel for The Prudential Insurance Company of America. During that time, he held increasing responsibility for the management of legal affairs for the company’s commercial real estate investment units, especially in respect of environmental issues and litigation and disputes to which Prudential was a party. From March 1996 until May 1997, he was project director for the Prudential Law Department’s Outside Counsel Utilization Task Force. In that capacity, he designed and managed the preparation and distribution of 109 distinct work packages (or RFPs) by which Prudential restructured its purchase of legal services and the evaluation of hundreds of proposals submitted by over 130 firms to handle those packages of work. He organized a series of orientation meetings with the 22 law firms that won the most work under those RFPs and helped to organize and implement the Prudential Law Department’s Best Practices Conference in February 1997. Steve was the in-house environmental attorney in the Prudential Law Department’s Real Estate Section for almost seven years. As such, he managed all environmental litigation for the company’s commercial real estate investment units. He also organized a team of environmental litigation counsel (with which he met annually) to handle that litigation for those clients and he developed other litigation-management tools, including a litigation-policies-and-procedures manual. For several years, he was responsible for management of all litigation for those real estate units. He represented Prudential in several industry groups such as the National Realty Committee (now the Real Estate Roundtable), the ASTM committee that developed an industry standard protocol for environmental assessments, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the American Council of Life Insurance. Steve was a member of the task force that developed the Uniform Task-Based Management System codes for task-based billing for the legal profession. He has authored numerous articles on the relations between in-house and outside attorneys, the selection of counsel by corporate clients, the evaluation of legal service, litigation management and other topics relevant to corporate compliance programs and corporate legal service. He has authored Conditional, Contingent and other Alternative Fee Arrangements (Monitor Press Ltd., Sudbury, Suffolk, UK, 1999), Managing your Relationship with External Counsel (Ark Group, London, UK, 2009) and The Value-Able Law Department (Ark Group, London, UK, 2010). He has spoken at numerous conferences in respect of those subjects and organized conferences and seminars (including online seminars) as well. He is a faculty member of the Law Partnering Institute, a member of LawPartnering Advocates, a Participating Principal in the Managing Litigation as a Business and Managing Litigation Reference Model initiatives, vice chair of the Corporate Counsel Committee and vice chair of the Corporate Compliance Committee, both of the American Bar Association Section of Business Law and a Fellow of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance. He co-founded and co-chairs the Open Legal Standards Initiative. He received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Steve can be reached by e-mail, by phone in the United States at (973) 207-3741 (cell), or at his website.

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