Chapter 17: Legal fee arrangements
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The billable hour fee system has been described as the biggest impediment to lawyers' ability to provide quality service and nurture client relationships. Clients pay for legal services in a way that has no relationship to the value they receive and lawyers are recognised and rewarded not on the basis of skill, experience, complexity, efficiency or innovation, but on how much time they spend doing the work. While the system has come in for a lot of criticism over the years, it remains the primary fee earning method for lawyers in most jurisdictions. This chapter examines the shortcomings of this fee system and explores possible alternatives.

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