Thursday, June 18, 2009, 2:29 PM

Real World Value Challenge Example

For the past few months, we have been speaking about Womble Carlyle's support of the Association of Corporate Counsel's Value Challenge initiative and our desire to maintain a leadership position in design of new models of practicing and pricing. As a reminder, the goal of the Value Challenge is to more closely align the price and value of legal services delivered by outside counsel. This blog, Custom Client Service Solutions, is intended to discuss the issues surrounding Value Challenge and how law firms in general, and Womble Carlyle in particular, are responding. Necessarily, much of the Value Challenge discussion to date has been foundational and theoretical, but real-world examples are starting to emerge, including this one from our own stable:

A client faced class action litigation involving massive legal costs—up to $2 million in document production alone. Womble Carlyle attorney Dean Rutley called an in-house contact at the company and recommended the firm's highly leveraged farm-source document review program, as well as the firm's highly technological Case Management Facility as ways to control these document production prices.

Womble Carlyle offered to do the entire document production project for a $850,000 fixed fee, guaranteed. A competing firm proposed an estimated $1.4 million price tag for the same work, with no assurances that the final bill wouldn’t be higher. As part of our pricing scenario, we also recommended, and the client accepted, a $200,000 performance bonus, to be awarded completely at the client’s discretion. These suggestions, gave the company cost-certainty and represent a true partnering with the client. The profit derived from this work will be a function of our expertise in managing it. Better law firm management, of course, is one of the objectives inside counsel wish to achieve as part of the Value Challenge.

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