News & Views

Top judge blasts hourly-rate legal fees

BY Margaret Anne Soderqvist-Clark
Employment law
BG Purple

Who would be a lawyer? Forever facing abuse about being soulless rip off merchants, accused of playing sharp games and squeezing every last penny from clients.

Of course, sometimes it’s justified. We’ve all heard the stories of frightening legal fees big enough to make even the wealthiest clients’ jaws drop faster than SyCo drops X Factor contestants after Christmas. Not so at Law At Work where our fixed fee model means that we don’t string out work to justify a teetering tower of legal bills.  

And it seems that one of Britain’s top judges agrees with our approach! Giving a speech this week at top law firm Freshfields’ (a bold move considering the hourly rate of Freshfields’ partners!), Lord Neuberger, President of the UK’s Supreme Court, blasted the traditional hourly-rate fee model. He implied that some lawyers are ripping off their clients by padding out work, saying: 

“As a matter of principle, it confuses cost with value. It encourages inefficiency or worse: if a lawyer is short of work, it can be surprising how much time a particular task takes. The hourly rate rewards the slow and the ignorant lawyer at the expense of the speedy and knowledgeable lawyer.” 

Ta very much, Lord Neuberger; we couldn’t have put it better ourselves!

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