Ethics of Client Billing and Fee Collection: Balancing Financial Interests and Fiduciary Obligations

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will prepare counsel to address the ethical dilemmas that arise related to law firm billing and fee collection practices. The panel will outline practical approaches for avoiding ethical violations and legal liability.


Billing and fee collection has always been a complicated area for the legal profession. When billing disputes arise, practitioners must balance their financial interest in collecting fees against their duty of loyalty to clients. For this reason, billing disputes are subject to close scrutiny.

To minimize client disputes over billing and fee collection and avoid ethical missteps, attorneys must immediately review and reconsider their policies and practices surrounding fee agreements, time tracking, and billing and collections.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines the ethical dilemmas inherent in law firm billing and collection practices, and offers practical steps firms can take to avoid ethical violations and legal liability.



  1. Areas ripe for ethical missteps
    1. Fee agreements
    2. Timekeeping and charging expenses
    3. Billing forms
  2. Common ethical challenges and best practices for law firms
    1. Resolving billing disputes
    2. Charging interest on overdue bills
    3. Withdrawing from a representation due to unpaid bills
    4. Using a collection agency
    5. Filing a lawsuit against a non-paying client


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What ethics rules govern the billing and fee collection processes?
  • What are some best practices counsel can use to collect past due fees while complying with ethics requirements?
  • What options do practitioners have for resolving billing disputes with clients?


Downey, Michael
Michael P. Downey

Legal Ethics Lawyer
Downey Law Group

An accomplished litigator, Mr. Downey advises law and accounting firms on legal, ethics and risk management issues and...  |  Read More

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