Alternative Fee Arrangements at Legal Departments and Law Firms

Rates and Compensation

May - 2015 |


This report, conducted by ALM Intelligence, provides an overview of the alternative fee arrangements used by large law firms and corporate legal departments.

For years, there was always a lot of talk about alternative fee arrangements- approaches to billing that are not based on traditional hourly rates – but very little action. Then came the economic collapse of 2008 to 2010. Corporations needed to cut expenses, and nothing was left off the table, included outside legal costs. Alternative fee arrangements (or AFAs) obtained a new urgency, as research and a prior survey of law firms conducted by ALM Intelligence suggested.

But a study focusing on the momentum of AFAs among law firms misses half the story. That is why ALM Intelligence took another look at the issue, this time surveying both large law firms and corporate legal departments. Although the results support prior conclusions, they also show new complexities of how legal departments and law firms both view and use AFAs and where things may go from here.

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