Fish & Richardson Named a Top Firm for Alternative Fee Arrangements

Fish & Richardson announced today it has been named one of the best law firms in the country for developing and delivering alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) in BTI Consulting Group's annual BTI State of Alternative Fee Arrangements 2016. Fish was one of only 22 firms that corporate counsel find are the best at making AFAs a successful cost control tool with improved client focus, predictability in budgets, a more streamlined approach to the work, and double-digit savings. Fish was also the only intellectual property law firm to make the elite list.

According to the BTI report, the 22 law firms, which were named by legal decision makers at large companies with $1 billion or more in revenue in an "unprompted" survey, stood out for the following reasons:

  • Partners have authority to enter into an AFA quickly. The negotiating partner does not have to wait for committee meetings or partner reviews of agreements. They know the parameters the firm will accept and approval is all but assured, and swift.
  • Confidence, comfort, and enthusiasm in pursuit of the AFA. The firm's enthusiasm and commitment to AFAs is contagious.
  • The firms who stand out listen to the objectives and offer to change the approach as the objectives evolve and are agreed upon by all concerned.
  • Willing to take some risk. The outstanding AFA firms have convinced clients they have skin in the game. Clients love the idea of risk sharing they can see and understand.
  • Focused and efficient. The best firms have learned to make a beeline for the client's goal. Much of the strategizing and planning has been done as the fee is negotiated - clients see their law firm operating like an Olympic swimmer with no wasted strokes.
  • Stick to the agreement and never complain. Apparently many law firms ask for changes when things don't go well - the best don't. And the best have tight project controls to ensure they don't need to ask.

The report went on to note that spending under AFAs surged to a record high, accounting for $21.1 billion of outside counsel spending in 2015. The AFA of choice is overwhelmingly the fixed fee, with three times as many clients preferring fixed fees over capped fees. According to BTI, fixed fees get to the heart of the matter - a clear goal and an even clearer budget.

The BTI State of Alternative Fee Arrangements 2016 is based solely on in-depth telephone interviews with leading legal decision makers at large organizations with over $1 billion in revenue in more than 15 industry segments. The research is independent and unbiased - no law firm or organization other than BTI sponsors this study.