Riding the tipping point

It may surprise you to know that charging for legal services on an hourly rate basis only really caught on in the 1970s, after fixed fees - or 'base fees' as they were then known - were held to constitute price-fixing in the US, and as such be a violation of the country's antitrust laws.

Despite all the talk about fixed fees, the hourly rate remains the dominant charging method for legal services. But, ask Chris Barnard and Ian Leedham, could we be on the verge of a tipping point?

It may surprise you to know that charging for legal services on an hourly rate basis only really caught on in the 1970s, after fixed fees – or ‘base fees’ as they were then known – were held to constitute price-fixing in the US, and as such be a violation of the country’s antitrust laws.

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