Alternative Fee Arrangements

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Saul Ewing understands that our clients need cost predictability. To meet those needs we offer competitive rate structures, smart staffing, and employ alternative fee models that permit clients to budget and manage legal expenses with a higher degree of certainty. Alternative Fee Arrangements that we offer include negotiated rates, blended rates, fixed fees (by phase or entire matter), monthly retainers, discounted rates with success bonuses and collared (over-under) fee arrangements.

Below are some examples of special fee arrangements we have utilized for a wide range of clients:

  • To provide predictability to a global private equity firm, we committed to handle new leases and lease modifications for existing tenants at the client’s industrial/warehouse/office properties on a flat-fee basis. The flat-fee “menu” included tiered pricing depending on the size of premises covered by the lease.
  • For an energy company interested in acquiring an electric generating facility, we agreed to a discount off our standard billing rates. If the client closed on the acquisition, it would pay the firm a success fee resulting in the firm being compensated at a premium over our standard billing rates. If the client did not close on the acquisition, then the firm’s compensation would at the discounted rates. This fee arrangement was designed to reflect the client’s prioritization of a timely closing. 
  • A global pharmaceutical company wanted the certainty of a line item in its budget for one-off employment law questions. We arranged a fixed-fee “hotline” covering calls from in-house counsel and human resources personnel on day-to-day employment law questions.
  • For a large research university with a gap in capacity, we arranged a monthly fixed-fee secondment where one of our attorneys worked a set amount of hours per month “in house” for the client.

Some of our Alternative Fee Arrangement offerings for specific kinds of matters include:

  • Services to review technology and other contracts on a straight fixed monthly retainer or a modified retainer with a collar where we compare our actual fees to the agreed retainer after several months and true up or down depending on if fees are above or below the collar.
  • Fee arrangements for litigation matters include fixed fees by phase, and discounted rates combined with success bonuses for achieving favorable outcomes at different stages of a case.
  • A fixed-fee structure for a range of employment-related training sessions and employee handbook reviews.
  • A range of fixed fees for selected routine intellectual property matters, including preparation and prosecution of applications for patents, trademarks, copyrights, due diligence and opinions concerning IP assets.
  • A wide range of immigration services on a fixed-fee schedule, including visa applications and petitions, labor certifications, adjustments of status, consular processing and appointment assistance, and other related activities.

Our formalized alternative fee arrangement programs include: