Today, AmLaw (affiliated with Corporate Counsel) posted an item which is significant for supporting my point in the last post: “Value” can be achieved by clients in both AFA and hourly billing models, but both models require the client to work for it.
The AmLaw posting (http://preview.tinyurl.com/yl4xsc3) reported on how Kraft Foods, Inc. publicly recognized one of its hourly billing law firms for working closely with Kraft to reduce legal costs. Just as “value” is achieved by a corporate client who puts in the effort to develop AFAs, smart corporate clients like Kraft recognize that the same can be done with hourly billing law firms.
The key in all of this is communication between client and lawyer about their expectations to ensure that the law firm is willing to work for the client’s best interests in all respects, not just for the particular matter for which the law firm was retained.
Congratulations to Kraft Foods’ Legal Department.