My perspective

Top 10 reasons why you cannot move away from charging by time


Hourly billing versus value pricing

OK you got me. I now understand that it is impossible to move you away from charging your clients solely by reference to time. So, to save you much wasted time and energy analyzing why this is so, I have summarized the reasons you have given me.

The "Top 10" reasons you can't move away from charging by time

10.  We're in the USA it doesn't work here.

9.   We're in the UK, it doesn't work here.

8.   My firm won't let me.

7.   My clients won't let me.

6.   We service large sophisticated clients and they want to see our hours.

5.   We service small, unsophisticated clients and they want to see our hours.

4.   I could see how it might work in property but not in commercial.

3.   I could see how it might work in commercial but not in property. 

2.   It's unfair to my firm--we might lose money.

1.  It's unfair to my clients--we might make too much money.

Just failing to make the “Top 10” were the old peppercorns

  • The regulators won’t let me;
  • My practice management system won’t let me;
  • My external accountants/management consultants/financial benchmarking firm 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 upfront as I have no idea how long this is going to take me.

So, for you innovative lawyers and other professionals out there pricing your services upfront and without reference solely to time please understand you cannot do it so 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.

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