Alternative Fee Arrangements

The next part of my series on “Better Decisions with Business Intelligence and Competitive Intelligence” will be about using BI and CI when pricing legal services. (Part One is here.) As I draft that post it occurs to me that we need some more common vocabulary, specifically around Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs). We’ve been kicking this term around for several years now, but I rarely meet two people who have exactly the same things in mind when they talk about AFAs.

To each their own, but here are the forms of AFA with which I have worked and how I think of each:

Blended Rate

Billing all attorneys and every attorney class (partner, associate, of counsel) at the same hourly rate

Contingency Fees

Traditional straight contingency for plaintiff cases

“Reverse” contingency for defense cases

Often gradated based on phase of the matter

Percentages increase as case nears trial
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