International law firm Holland & Knight announced in recent days that the firm’s Public Policy & Regulation Group will eliminate the tracking of billable hours for fixed fee clients, effective January 1, 2012.
The move makes the firm the largest national practice group to do so, and follows the group being recognized by The National Law Journal and Legal Times as the winner in the “Law Firm Government Affairs/Lobbying” category in the first annual “The Best of Legal Times” readership survey.
Rich Gold, the head of the practice group was quoted as saying in a press release at the firm’s website: “Helping our clients reach their advocacy goals has always been our top priority. This new approach allows us to totally focus on certain efforts and outcomes that our clients expect. Our primary goal is to please our clients, and our team should not be distracted by administrative tasks like keeping time in an effort to achieve this goal.”
It is common knowledge that nearly every law firm follows a “billable hour” approach to charging for its services. However, the practice of logging time poses several drawbacks, including time spent on administrative tasks, like keeping time, which might otherwise go toward creative solutions for client problems.
Gold was also quoted as saying: “All law firms bill time; it is simply a practice engrained in the profession. While that has been changing somewhat over the last years, we hope to accelerate the pace. To maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace, we are constantly looking for ways to improve upon our daily operations and strengthen our known team approach to servicing clients, which is our calling card in the industry. Recruiting top talent is highly competitive. Billing your time can be a hard sell to someone who hasn’t done it before. I am delighted that we will be eliminating that obstacle starting in 2012, which will allow future hires to immediately begin servicing clients without having to be distracted with keeping time.”
Holland & Knight was also ranked third among 30 top-performing law firms for its superior client service. In a survey of nearly 250 corporate counsel and client representatives conducted by The BTI Consulting Group, Inc., the firm ranked third in overall client service and received the top honor – “Best of the Best” – in the area of “Value for the Dollar.” The firm has also been ranked among BTI’s Top 30 for nine of the past ten years. The survey notes that, “Holland & Knight’s staying power is fueled by the firm’s consistently strong performances” in key areas year after year.
Founded in 1968 by the merger of two law firms, international law firm Holland & Knight today has over 1,000 lawyers in 17 U.S. offices. The firm also has offices in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Beijing, China, and Mexico City, Mexico. The full service law firm represents clients in a wide range of industries, including aviation, Indian law, energy, education, corporate services, intellectual property, land use, public finance, real estate and syndication, among others.