What do Evan Chesler of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Rob Mattern of Mattern have in common?

This past November, Mattern were sponsors of the Hildebrandt Institute’s 16th Annual Law Firm Leaders Forum in New York City where Mr. Chesler was one of the featured speakers. Overall, the program was excellent, informative and forward-thinking with many outstanding speakers; however, Mr. Chesler’s comments regarding law firms’ predominant method of billing based upon an attorney’s hourly rate as in conflict with defining a successful relationship with their clients were, to me, the defining comments of the conference.

The significance of the remarks struck me, that the presiding partner of a major New York law firm should advocate for the dismantling of the attorney-focused, hourly rate structure for their legal services and, in its stead, putting in place a client-focused fixed fee business model which included potential bonuses for the hard working attorneys if that success—as defined from the client’s point-of-view–was ultimately fulfilled.

What struck me even further is that this is the way we structure our engagements at Mattern.

So, what exactly do Evan Chesler and Rob Mattern have in common? Besides our shared, striking good looks, we agree on the way fees should be structured when outsourcing expert services.

I will call it the fairness factor.

At Mattern, we have extended this straightforward logic to the pain point of legal billing known as soft cost recoveries. This fairness factor when applied to soft cost recovery was the precipitance of the Mattern Plan B™ Cost Recovery model in which we structure onsite and offsite support services operations as a hard cost pass through to law firm clients. In this way, the client pays what you pay—and just as with Mr. Chesler’s fixed fee model he advocates for in his article, “Kill the Billable Hour,” what could be fairer than that?

To read Mr. Chesler’s article in Forbes, “Kill the Billable Hour,” https://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0112/026.html.

To read about Mattern Plan B:  https://www.matternassoc.com/services_cost.html.