To Bill, Or Not To Bill (by the hour): That is the Question.

7 thoughts on “To Bill, Or Not To Bill (by the hour): That is the Question.”

  1. Brian,
    I also read that book and it's true that the customer is best served when the consultant works fast, while the consultant is best served when they work slow. I am not a big fan of hourly billing and I've seen it abused by other individuals/companies in CD consulting field. I would love to move to a value based fee, but still have not figured out how to go about it. I'd love to hear from some other consultants who have implemented this strategy in their business.

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      Regarding fixed-price/flat-fee billing in construction defect litigation, I have seen it implemented effectively. As I mentioned, it may not work in all situations, or with all clients. The real challenge for consultants in CD is that the client is typically a law firm, and lawyers tend to love hourly billing! Without getting into too much detail, I think that the easiest way to implement a value-based fee would be for the investigative portion of a case, up through (and including) mediation. The work is fairly straightforward and is largely dependent upon site factors, access, project size, scope, etc. This gives the client full control over the expert's costs, and gives the expert a performance based incentive.

      Once a case moves past the mediation phase, I think that the attorney and expert need to discuss how the case should move forward and negotiate fees that are appropriate based upon the expert's contribution to the overall outcome of the case.

      Patrick Lamb, of Valorem Law Group, wrote an excellent book on value-based pricing for the legal industry, and the Valorem firm has blazed trails with their value-based fee model. Check them out at


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