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Law Firm Pricing Specialists, AFAs, and Finance
Forward thinking law firms are employing pricing specialists. These professionals help deliver value to clients by aligning incentives with the objectives of the clients. Alternative fee agreements (AFAs), or as one high-profile GC describes them "appropriate fee agreements", have become an invaluable tool for the pricing professionals and the law firms they serve. A component that a number of pricing specialists have not yet completely understood or adopted is non-recourse financing.
Anyone considering or using (AFAs), needs to know about non-recourse third-party financing (TPF). TPF can be had for AFAs involving flat fees, outcome based fees, phased or installment fees, capped fees, contingent fees, and other non-hourly or blended situations. TPF is available for affirmative and defensive litigation, and also for transactional work.
Clients can use TPF to finance much of or all their legal expenses and even for operational expenses. Through TPF, law firms can maximize cash flow and get paid now for pending matters/work in progress. In both cases, clients and firms minimize the potential risk of loss due to the non-recourse nature of the financing.
As a client, wouldn’t it make sense to use someone else’s money for legal expenses? As a law firm, where case flow your lifeblood, shouldn’t you get money now?
AFAs and TPF can be tremendous tools that allow the objectives and incentives of both the client and law firm to align, mitigate risk, and be more profitable. In corporate jargon, that is the classic "win-win" situation.