More Law Firms Charging Fixed Fees, Study Says

Cisco Systems Inc. spurns hourly billing arrangements by its law firms, spending about 75 percent of its legal budget paying fixed fees.

The company is a leader in alternative billing, a growing trend, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. Such arrangements are made possible by electronic billing and matter-management software programs that help law firms estimate the costs of legal work.

Sixty-two percent of 150 general counsel at large companies responding to a General Counsel Roundtable survey said they used fixed fees “once in a while,” up from 54 percent in a 2002 study, the newspaper reports.

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