What is DFL Legal’s approach to using alternative fee arrangements (AFAs)?

The lawyers of DFL Legal have been proactive in developing and implementing a variety of AFAs on various engagements. AFAs can take on many forms, including fixed fees, blended hourly rates, discounts combined with success fees and retainer agreements. In appropriate circumstances, we have successfully utilized AFA structures that included: (1) fixed fee amounts for all or selected portions of engagements combined with success fee awards geared to agreed upon benchmarks for a successful outcome; (2) discounted hourly rates coupled with partial contingencies; and (3) discounted hourly rates with an agreed upon success fee component. At DFL Legal, we work with our clients to develop AFAs that are consistent with their business goals, provide predictability and accountability and establish a mutually-beneficial partnering relationship.

How does DFL Legal manage engagements in jurisdictions outside of its home office?

Enhanced communication is the essence of any partnering arrangement. Our goal is to create a cost-effective work plan that allocates resources in the manner best suited to the specific issues at hand and in keeping with our clients’ business objectives. This may result in work being performed by DFL Legal’s lawyers, inside counsel, other outside legal service providers or a combination of any of these professionals. In those instances when our lawyers are needed outside of our home office, we can call upon deep relationships with local counsel who have proven themselves in the past to be dependable partners. Clients benefit from having a single point of contact, regular reporting and a high level of confidence in the management of cases that require the utilization of local counsel.

What is DFL Legal’s approach to ensuring that its engagements are economical, cost-effective and consistent with client expectations?

Based on our experience, we are adept at setting budgets and managing the work in accordance with that budget. We are willing and able to provide budget forecasts for clients on a regular basis, which budgets are prepared at the beginning of a case and updated periodically. We strive to provide our clients with real time case assessments and updates which may signal a variance to the most current budget. We regularly track costs for our clients on cases and report monthly on the status of the costs versus the budget. These same monthly reports advise on any need to revise the budget or to alter the course of the engagement to work within the budget. We will discuss with our clients all of the significant steps and assignments relevant to any particular matter, including the need to do research or to prepare memoranda or briefs on particular legal issues. This allows the client the opportunity to question the need for the particular work involved or to confirm that the work should proceed. To establish accountability, we also employ a variety of case reporting methods, including monthly status reports, quarterly case reviews and annual client relationship meetings.