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What does your client need and perceive as good value?

Pricing in the legal profession is undergoing a revolution and has a big impact on profitability, says Kim Tasso

25 March 2014

Law firms have tended to calculate the cost of providing a service by measuring lawyer time and adding an allocation for overheads and a profit margin. But this cost plus approach bears no relationship to what the client is prepared to pay. It is also rather open-ended for the client: they do not know how much the service will cost.

Lawyers sometimes mistakenly think that the appetite for fixed prices means this can only result in price cuts. Yet often clients just want certainty and it is wrong to assume that this equals low price. Some firms are now employing project management techniques to ensure that quotes are not exceeded.

Paralegals, outsourcing and technological solutions can reduce the cost of producing some legal work but this doesn’t mean that the price for all legal services – no matter how complex – must also be depressed. One of the most profitable US commercial litiga...

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