Fixed legal fees- can they change the face of the legal profession?

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  • I don't agree that fixed fees will change law firm culture. Firms will still need to generate profits to maintain margins. If prices go down then to generate the same levels of profit you have to work harder, not less hard. Either that or you have to pay your people less.

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  • What will make the difference is not the change from billing clients fixed fees (which is from what I see as an inhouse lawyer, largely the norm anyway), but changing how associates efforts are recognised.
    This means, for example, recording those associates who work efficiently and complete matters within or under the flxed fee quoted by the partner, or who have the narrowest gap between their recorded and billed hours, rather than the associates who just leave the clock on, and live at the office, but whose recorded hours are huge (with no scrutiny of the quantity of those hours which end up being written off).
    Only when this occurs will the culture begin to change.

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