SOME OF THE DELETERIOUS EFFECTS OF TIME BASED BILLING
Time-based billing is not only detrimental to clients and our relationships with them, but in my view has led to a whole range of negative consequences for our profession that are too numerous to mention, but include:
• Demotivating highly-intelligent ‘knowledge workers’ by making them slavishly
account and record every six minutes of their working day.
• Lawyers being treated merely as ‘fee earners’ and primarily assessed more
on their hours recorded than anything else.
• Too many smart people leaving our profession, often citing the time-based
billing model as a primary cause of their dissatisfaction.
• The fostering of a production mentality in firms (“slowest horse wins the race”)
with little or no incentive to improve turnaround time.
• Stifling of creativity or any incentive within firms to innovate.
• Somewhere between seven and 15 per cent of a firm’s turnover is spent
purely on administering a time-based billing model, which adds no value to
• Cost and communication disputes with our clients.
• Significant lock up being considered the norm and just another cost of the
business of running a law firm