This has huge implications for outsourcing legal work. Could this be the tipping point? Bill Lee, co-managing partner of WilmerHale has come out in support of fixed fee billing. To my knowledge, he is the most senior leader of a major U.S. firm to come out so publicly for this shift in billing practices.
Will this accelerate the need for law firms to find more cost effective ways to deliver their services? Once law firms no longer have the incentive to bill as many hours as possible, the next logical step is that they will be looking to the global marketplace to outsource the parts of the work that can be completed in a more cost effective manner. There are many quality providers like IPEngine who are positioning themselves to provide these services directly to law firms. If Bill Lee and Benjamin W. Heineman Jr.’s comments in Corporate Counsel magazine are any indication, we may now be reaching the tipping point for the outsourcing industry.