All client relationships are different because no two clients want or need exactly the same things from their lawyer. In some instances our client is personified by general counsel of a large corporation, who runs an in-house legal department and looks to us only for particular, specialized legal advice or litigation in fields of our special emphasis. Other clients are closely held businesses or individuals who rely on us as outside general counsel to provide all of their needed counsel and representation—and a fair amount of business advice.
We take very seriously our obligation to render honest, accurate bills that fairly reflect both our compensation arrangements with our clients and the value of our services.
Our fees are usually based on our normal hourly rates, although we are open to the consideration of other arrangements—retainers, contingent fees, hybrid fees, flat fees—for a particular project or engagement. In all cases we agree explicitly with our client on the basis for our fee when we establish the attorney-client relationship.
We recognize that most clients, businesses and individuals alike, highly prize predictability. They need to budget their legal expenses like they budget their other obligations, and the sense that legal fees and costs are uncontrollable and unknowable until the bill is presented is both stressful and damaging to the mutual trust that is so important to a functioning attorney-client relationship. We encourage discussion of these issues early and as often as necessary, and we welcome reasonable requests for budgets and other measures for reducing uncertainty and enhancing our client’s sense of control.
We normally bill monthly for our fees and costs incurred on client work, and payment is due on receipt of our statement unless we have agreed to other terms. Outstanding balances not paid within 30 days may, at our option, accrue interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month until paid. In some circumstances, we may require an advance against anticipated fees or costs. We encourage our clients always to feel absolutely free to question us about any aspect of our representation of their interests, including any statement rendered for fees or costs.