Yesterday, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal opposition to the billable hour went mainstream – ‘Billable Hour’ Under Attack. The article begins, “With the recession crimping legal budgets, some big companies are fighting back against law firms’ longstanding practice of billing them by the hour.”
In addition, the Journal also posted this accompanying video, in which the client (Pfizer) lays down the law (of economics that is) to her firms. While there is much here to agree with, she misses an important point. No billing by the hour can be financially beneficial to the firm as well. The question that I have for these firms is will you now eliminate the time sheet? Your customer has just told you that you have no reason to keep them. If anyone out there works for one of these firms, please let me know what the buzz is.