Alternative Fee Arrangements

Butler Snow is a pioneer in the use of alternative fee arrangements to help clients cope effectively with ever-increasing pressures to contain legal costs.  For years, we have employed AFAs to align the firm’s interests with clients’ business and financial interests. 

A basic principle for successful AFAs includes the ability to provide predictability for budgeting legal costs for clients.  Because of Butler Snow’s unique teamwork culture and lack of compensation structure that rewards origination fees to attorneys, we have the  ability to staff  matters with the most appropriate attorney or attorney team that is best qualified for the particular legal issue.  Butler Snow’s Culture rewards our lawyers who provide the greatest service and value to our clients. And, our culture and compensation structure promotes teamwork, efficiency and internal cooperation – not competition –helps deliver client service excellence. Approximately 40% of Butler Snow fees are derived through arrangements other than the billable hour.   In fact, Butler Snow has been highlighted by AmLaw Daily and as a pioneer for exploring and developing alternative fee arrangements for clients.  Our firm was selected as one of 19 firms for the National Law Journal’s “Midsize Hot List,” which evaluated firms based on how they creatively addressed client concerns regarding:

  • price constraints
  • frustrations with traditional billing structures
  • efficiency in staffing matters 

We work with each client to tailor an AFA to meet the company’s business and financial goals.   Models vary based on client needs, and can include one or a combination of many outlined below:

  • fees charged by stage/phase of litigation or project
  • fees charged in relation to amount in controversy
  • capped fees
  • fixed fees
  • bonus or incentive fee-based plans
  • blended hourly rates
  • volume and tiered discounts
  • risk sharing
  • outcome dependent percentages

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“Butler Snow’s client satisfaction rating is one of the highest ever recorded in the Altman Weil Client Survey Database. The level of Butler Snow’s client satisfaction was extraordinary, especially when considering the number of national, regional and local clients that participated.”

Tom Clay, Altman Weil Managing Principal