Alternative billing in vogue among firms

June 24, 2011
Atlanta Business Chronicle

There’s an old joke, said one local expert, that there are only two professions that traditionally charge by the hour.

Though hourly billing for legal work has been the norm for the past few decades, alternative fees and arrangements — while still not as popular as hourly rates — are without a doubt in vogue among law firms. It is a trend spurred by the recession and fueled by clients’ demand for more choices.

For the Atlanta office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, which has offered alternative fee structures for about 15 years, the hourly rate remains the most popular.

About 12 percent to 15 percent of the firm’s work is billed through alternative fee arrangements, said partner Michael Cochran, within the industry average of about 10 percent to 20 percent.

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