Clients know that legal services can be expensive, and are afraid of incurring open-ended costs. When I was an in-house attorney, we used outside lawyers on a regular basis. It was always frustrating to hear a lawyer say that he or she had extensive experience with a particular task or case, but when asked what it would cost, could not give an estimate.
For many years most attorneys have billed their clients on an hourly basis for most types of work. This creates a disincentive to be efficient: the longer a lawyer billing by the hour takes to complete something, the more money he or she makes. For this reason, many small businesses and startups have avoided using lawyers, but this opens them to legal risks that could be much more expensive to fix at a later date.
Our goal at Spitz Legal Counsel is to give you the best value for your money, based on our experience and expertise. We can offer many services at a fixed fee. If a matter is more complicated, or the scope of work changes, we will bill at an hourly rate, but at a rate much lower than the large firms charge. If your matter is one that we do on a fixed-fee basis, we will tell you that, and you will know from the start what your cost is.
Flat fees do not mean you get a “one-size-fits-all” product, however. We listen to your needs and goals, and customize every solution for you.
Please note that a flat fee for a matter, such as an incorporation, does not include filing fees with government agencies, and other related expenses.
When a matter is not as well-defined as, for example, an incorporation or a single-member LLC operating agreement, we may bill by the hour. We will discuss this with you at our initial meeting, and will always keep in close communication so that you know how the matter is progressing. We will not bill you for responding to phone calls and emails, as many larger firms do.
When we begin work with a new client, or start a new matter for an existing client, we will collect a fee advance, sometimes called a “retainer.” We hold this amount in a special account, called a trust account, on your behalf. We hold these funds in a trust account because they belong to you, the client, until we have completed our work, whether in full or in agreed-upon benchmarks.
Why do we ask for this fee advance?
First, it ensures our commitment to your needs, that we will give our attention to your project in an efficient and cost-effective manner. It also places responsibility for that efficiency on us, the attorneys, and not on you, the client. Fee advances also gives you, as the client, an investment in the matter and also gives you more certainty around your costs. Finally, as a small business, fee advances help to ensure that Spitz Legal Counsel gets paid for its services and mitigate unpaid receivables.
Questions about Fees?
You should never feel reluctant to ask about fees if you have questions. You are the client, and our goal is providing you high-quality legal and client services in a cost-effective manner. For your convenience, we accept payments online by credit card.