ILTA White Papers

Financial Management

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TOBY BROWN FULBRIGHT & JAWORSKI, L.L.P. Bringing IT and KM Value to AFAs A 30 lternative fee arrangements (AFAs) continue to be a hot topic in the legal market. When they first started their rise to prominence in 2008/2009, a number of lawyers suggested they would diminish in use once the Great Recession was over. With the downturn generally behind us, however, AFAs not only persist, they are expanding in certain markets. AFA VARIATIONS Although there may be no universally agreed upon definition of AFAs, they can be broadly defined Financial Management ILTA White Paper as any fee arrangement that does not follow the traditional billable hour. This definition does not include discounts on rates, as these are just reductions against billable hours. This leaves us with fixed fees (a broad category), fee caps, discount or bonus fees and contingency fees. Each of these types has variations, but any AFA will fit in one or more of these general categories. Following are brief definitions of each: • Fixed (or Flat) Fees: A defined amount of work is assigned a set fee. This might be an entire matter, a group of matters, a stage of a matter or even

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