The following is from VeraSage Senior Fellow John Chisholm in Australia:
Slater & Gordon announced last week that they were rolling out fixed fees in their Family Law practice.
Slater is not, of course, the first law firm to offer fixed fees in Family Law and will not be the last. Many smaller firms have been offering fixed fees for years, both in Australia and in US, but Slater is the first high profile national Australian firm to publicly announce a move away from time-based billing—albeit at this stage at least in one area of their practice.
In some respects it is not surprising a firm that first gave Australia “No Win—No Fees” and the world the first publicly listed law firm would take yet another radical step into moving away from time based billing.
Just as Slater & Gordon proved to all the sceptics who said “you cannot successfully float a law firm because…” totally wrong, they, together with a growing number of other law firms, will again show the conservative members of our profession who still say “you cannot fix legal fees because…” totally wrong as well.
Agreeing prices up front at least provides some certainty to clients in the often uncertain and foreboding world of law. It not only benefits their clients but as Slater will find out just like all the other firms who have made the move to non time-based pricing have discovered, it is a much better and more satisfying way of practicing law.
John and I have had the opportunity to discuss this transition with Ian Shann, Slater’s Family Law National Practice Group Leader. He is responsible for the pricing initiative, is an advocate for getting rid of timesheets, and implementing a ROWE.
Congratulations to Slater & Gordon on being a Trailblazer Down Under.
Here is more information on Slater & Gordon bold move.
Chris Merritt speaks with Slater and Gordon’s Ian Shann about a breakthrough in family law—fixed fees.
Herald Sun: “Legal firm offers couples a fixed-price divorce”
The New Lawyer: “Slater & Gordon launches fixed fee service”
Lawyers Weekly: “Slater & Gordon launches fixed fee service
The Australian: “Slater & Gordon to drop billable hours for family law“