Another Australian Chief Justice Calls for Alternatives to Billable Hour

Australian Chief Justice Robert French has called for alternatives to the inefficient (and we would say ineffective) billable hour.

Here’s a great line:

I remember the beggarly voice of our accountant who said this is just a management tool, he said. It is generally recognised that time costing has gone far beyond the status of a management tool.

Far from being a simple management and cost accounting tool, the timesheet is what transmogrified the billable hour into the profession’s business model of “we sell time.”

It’s a business model developed in 1919 by Reginald Heber Smith. Isn’t it about time to ask if the legal profession can afford a business model developed for an Industrial economy?

I wish USA judges were this outspoken about the stillborn billable hour.

I’ve lost count how many Australian judges have spoken up about not only the perils of the billable hour, but also timesheets.

Good On Ya’.


  1. David Garnsworthy says:

    Hi Ron
    This is the table of Chief Justices in Australia so far:-
    Chief Justice of Australia ( we are both life members of the Law Sopciety of WA)
    Chief Justice of WA;
    Chief Jusrice of Victoria;
    Chief Justice of Queensland.
    And Justice Newnes in WA and Justice Croft in Victoria

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