Billing principles:The firm’s attorneys handle cases using a wide variety of fee arrangements. Some matters are handled on an hourly basis, others on a fixed fee basis, and still others pursuant to contingent fee agreements. In all instances, we strive to charge reasonable fees for our work that reflect, among other things:
- the time and labor required to complete the representation;
- the novelty and difficulty of the issues involved;
- the skill required to perform our services properly;
- the fees customarily charged to the firm’s clients for similar services, as well as the fees normally charged by other attorneys in the area for similar services;
- the likelihood that accepting the representation will preclude our ability to accept other matters for other clients;
- the results obtained for the client;
- time limitations imposed by the client or the circumstances of the engagement;
- the experience, reputation and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services; and
- the degree of cooperation, or lack thereof, we receive from the client, opposing counsel or third parties to the matter or transaction.
In establishing hourly rates for the firm’s lawyers, we have taken each attorney’s experience into consideration, as well as the complexity of the services likely to be provided. The time is recorded as an approximation of the actual time taken, and minimum charges may apply for certain functions. While from time to time the lawyers of the firm may waive charges, offer credits or reduce recorded time billed, the firm reserves the right to increase time billed under our hourly billing method to account for the various considerations discussed above. These adjustments are intended to reward efficiency, produce comparable fees for clients receiving similar services and promote client satisfaction.
A copy of the firm’s basic contingent fee agreement can be reviewed. There are certain instances when the firm will not accept representation on a contingent fee basis. These include:
- domestic relations matters where payment is contingent upon securing a divorce for the client or upon the amount the alimony or support received by the client;
- representation in criminal cases.
For the firm’s new clients, fee arrangements are confirmed at the outset of representation using an engagement letter. The firm requires new clients to review this letter and then sign and return a copy to the attorney handling the case before the firm is formally engaged. Engagement letters customarily describe the work to be performed, the fee arrangements that will apply and other matters relevant to the representation. In many instances, an estimate of the expected fees or range of fees will be included as well.
All clients are strongly encouraged to discuss fee arrangements as early in the representation as possible and to relay any questions or concerns about the firm’s fees to the attorney handling their case or to our billing department.