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Alternative Fees for Litigation: Collaborating with Clients to Structure Non-Hourly Billing Arrangements

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Recorded event now available

This CLE course will provide guidance for litigators and trial counsel on planning, negotiating and implementing alternative fee structures. The panel will analyze the risks and opportunities in various alternative fee arrangements and discuss how to avoid potential traps.


Because corporate law departments are under intense pressure to reduce outside legal fees, many businesses freeze hourly rates paid to outside counsel and seek alternative billing structures with outside firms. Companies want cost certainty and reduction of risk while continuing to receive quality representation.

Litigation partners must collaborate with corporate clients to determine appropriate alternative billing models based on the type of case involved. Both parties must have a financial stake in the results achieved.

Non-hourly rate pricing introduces risk for the law firm and requires tight management controls and carefully drafted fee agreements with clients. Litigators must also be mindful of the pitfalls associated with alternative fee arrangements.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines the different forms of alternative fee structures, offers guidance on the pros and cons of alternative fee arrangements, and discusses best practices for implementing alternative billing models.



  1. Forms of alternative fee structures
    1. Value-based billing
    2. Holdback/success fees
    3. Portfolio pricing
    4. Fixed fees
    5. Flat fees
    6. Blended fees
    7. Contingency fees
    8. Retainers
  2. Negotiating and implementing alternative fees
    1. Case and client assessment
    2. Client and firm collaboration
    3. Internal firm management controls
    4. Bidding strategies
    5. Marketing alternative fees
  3. Ethical considerations


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How can counsel structure the alternative fee agreement to suit the particular type of legal matter?
  • How can the agreement be structured to minimize risk to the law firm, litigator and client?
  • Which alternative fee agreements and provisions should law firms avoid or be wary of using?
  • What legal ethics issues may arise with alternative fee agreements?


Nicole Nehama Auerbach
Nicole Nehama Auerbach

Founding Partner
Valorem Law Group

Ms. Auerbach focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts around the country....  |  Read More

Paul A. Williams
Paul A. Williams

Shook Hardy & Bacon

Mr. Williams focuses his practice on products liability, tort and negligence cases, and has represented clients in...  |  Read More

Miller-Van Oort, Sonia
Sonia Miller-Van Oort

Sapientia Law Group

Ms. Miller-Van Oort, a litigation attorney, works on a variety of litigation involving commercial disputes, product...  |  Read More