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
Date Written: April 22, 2012
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
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