Better Value: Problems with the Billable Hour and the Viability of Value-Based Billing

La Revue Du Barreau Canadien, 2011

24 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2017

See all articles by Brooke MacKenzie

Brooke MacKenzie

University of Toronto, Faculty of Law; MacKenzie Barristers P.C.

Date Written: April 22, 2012

Abstract

This article explores the drawbacks of the billable hour and considers the viability of a value-based alternative, the fixed fee. It argues that billing models premised on hourly rates facilitate unethical practices, reward inefficiency, and fail to provide clients with certainty and accountability. The article proceeds to consider if a value-based system would introduce different problems, such as estimating appropriate fees that are fair to both the client and the lawyer. The article concludes that value-based billing is a viable alternative to the billable hour, and suggests that its practical implications warrant further exploration.

Keywords: Practice of law, legal ethics, professions, billable hour

Suggested Citation

MacKenzie, Brooke, Better Value: Problems with the Billable Hour and the Viability of Value-Based Billing (April 22, 2012). La Revue Du Barreau Canadien, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2978033

Brooke MacKenzie (Contact Author)

University of Toronto, Faculty of Law ( email )

Toronto
Canada

MacKenzie Barristers P.C. ( email )

Richmond Adelaide Centre
120 Adelaide St. W. Suite 2100
Toronto, Ontario M5H 1T1
Canada

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