“Hourly Billing Loses Ground” – The Wall Street Journal on flat fees and other alternative fee arrangements

Over at the Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Smith wrote an article on the impact that flat fee and alternative fee arrangements are having on the legal industry.

The recession is over, but clients who won concessions on their legal bills when law firms were scrambling for business still are calling the shots when it comes to paying by the hour.

Exhibit A: the steady spread of flat fees and other alternative fee arrangements as companies continue to press their outside lawyers for options besides traditional hourly billing. Once a relative novelty, such demands have become routine.

“For us, it’s no longer a necessity just because of the recession,” said Don H. Liu, general counsel for Xerox Corp. “It’s now part of the normal process.”

Via online.wsj.com

Since the article requires subscription to read the full text, I suggest reading Ed Poll’s commentary.