Top 10 reasons why you cannot move to agreeing your fees in advance

OK you got me. I now understand that it is impossible to move lawyers away from charging their clients solely by reference to time so to save further wasted time and energy, I have summarized the reasons they have given me in a Top 10 List as follows:

  1. 10. We're in NSW, it doesn't work here.
  2. 9.   We're in Victoria, it doesn't work here.
  3. 8.   My firm won't let me.
  4. 7.   My clients won't let me.
  5. 6.   We service large sophisticated clients and they want to see our hours.
  6. 5.   We service small, unsophisticated clients and they want to see our hours.
  7. 4.   I could see how it might work in litigation but not in commercial.
  8. 3.  I could see how it could work in commercial but not in litigation.
  9. 2. It's unfair to my firm--we might lose money.
  10. 1.   It's unfair to my clients--we might make too much money.

Just failing to make the Top 10 (but knocking on the door) were the old peppercorns such as: the regulators won't let me; who else is doing it?; without timesheets I would not know what my lawyers are doing all day; and I cannot price up front as I have no idea how long this is going to take me.

So for you lawyers out there pricing your services up front and without reference solely to time you cannot do it and please stop right now. As for any clients reading this please stop asking for it - you don’t want it and even if you did you don’t need it.