Lawyers charge for their time principally by the hour. Like it or not, this revenue model has dominated the industry for decades. But with the onset of new technologies and increasing client demand for alternative fee structures, market dynamics are beginning to shift.
The gap between the desire of clients for cost certainty and the prevailing billable hour model has never been greater. The issue is particularly acute in the case of entrepreneurs and emerging companies. Given their often limited budgets, these types of clients have a very real need for upfront cost certainty when utilising professional services. And therein lies the issue: while many traditional law firms do incredible work, they find it difficult to tailor their fee structures to the needs of different kinds of clients. The needs of governments, financial institutions and major conglomerates are considerably different to those of entrepreneurs and emerging companies. And yet traditional law firms tend to apply the same type of fee structure to all clients, regardless of size. There is room in the market for a new kind of firm; one that addresses this gap.
Today marks the formal launch of Support Legal, a new legal services platform purpose-built to deliver top tier legal advice efficiently and cost-effectively, while at the same time providing cost certainty for clients. We work primarily on the basis of a subscription model: clients pay a set monthly fee and receive unlimited service within the boundaries of the engagement. Think of Spotify or Netflix but for legal services. In addition, we offer fixed fees (agreed up front) for defined scopes of work. In all cases, our lawyers have no hourly rates; the billable hour has been banned from our lexicon.
Our subscription clients are not charged additional fees for picking up the phone and calling us to discuss strategy or a potential transaction. We do not charge anything extra when a piece of work takes longer than we first budgeted for. The fee we agree with a client is the fee the client pays us. It's that simple. We will undoubtedly take hits in certain months when the workload from a client turns out to be considerably more than we expected, but it's precisely this risk that allows us to provide cost certainty. Our clients take commercial risks every day in their business dealings and they tell us they appreciate that we are doing the same. At heart, we are entrepreneurs, serving entrepreneurs.
Our model is predicated on the notion that our compensation structure should facilitate a long-term partnership mindset vis-a-vis our clients. By fixing our fees in advance, we deal with the most divisive issue in the lawyer-client relationship up front, and then get on with the business of doing world class legal work for our clients.
Off the clock and on your side. Welcome to Support Legal. Same Law, Different Thinking.