As you may know, we’ve dropped time based billing. So no more billing in 6 minute increments. Why? Because we don’t want to charge you every time we speak with you or meet with you – we found it was sometimes a barrier to communication. Instead we want to encourage more communication without the client being concerned by the age old question of “how much is this call or meeting costing me?” By removing those cost concerns, it improves client information flow. This in turn improves our understanding of client business objectives, better client collaborations which leads to timely and better results.
We also didn’t feel it was the fairest way of charging you, the client. Charging by time we felt was an outdated methodology. Arbitrarily determined hourly rates multiplied by time spent (no matter how effectively or ineffectively that time was spent) by each member of a professional service provider’s team didn’t match client expectations. Fixed fee pricing however does. Fixed pricing gains greater client trust. It also encourages more collaborative and effective delivery of client valued outcomes.
It’s been nearly 4 years now since we moved to fixed pricing. Client feedback has been fantastic and the increased rate of client referrals has reflected that – so thank you.
Here’s our top 5 reasons why fixed fee pricing makes sense and how it can benefit your business.
1. We don’t charge you for each and every time you talk to us, email us, meet with us or when we simply think about your matter. That’s a direct cost saving for you.
That’s one item you will no longer receive an invoice for – you won’t be charged for an hour meeting with 2 lawyers in the room (each charging you for their 1 hour spent with you). Instead we want to encourage more of these communications and we have done this by removing this cost concern. In fact, once you sign up to a project, those communications are unlimited (even if there are 2 or more lawyers in the room!). Does your current professional service provider charge you for every interaction they have directly with you (reading an email, talking with you)? Well, we don’t. It’s a better approach because it promotes two way information flow. With that knowledge share we can better align our legal strategy to what you value – achieving your commercial needs. This can only mean a better outcome for you.
2. Mutually agreed scope & fixed fees. Lower IP spend too.
At the start of each matter, we use our IP expertise to comprehensively scope your project (at no charge) and then agree in discussions with you on a fixed price for that work. That price will be exactly what you see on your corresponding invoice. No surprises. We think it’s a fairer approach for you. It also means you can budget your IP spend with certainty. We also understand that the market is changing and is no longer willing to pay exorbitant legal fees. We have structured our firm to meet that expectation. We utilise technology and project management methodology to confine firm overheads and expenses to what is necessary. This means we don’t pass on unnecessary overheads and other variables into the price we charge you. With Actuate IP, you get premium and specialised expertise without the big end of town hourly price tag.
3. Sharpens the focus on delivering effective outcomes
Fixed prices eliminate the inefficiencies that can arise with time based billing. What you are charged by your professional adviser should not be based on how much collective time is spent. It should be judged by client value, effectiveness and outcomes. An agreed to fixed pricing approach means there is single minded focus on developing and implementing strategies that deliver a positive commercial outcome for you. We will then dedicate the resources and team members we know will achieve that outcome and you won’t get charged additional for that. In fact, we’re incentivised to get that job done efficiently and effectively. At the end of the day getting results is what you want to see, not how much our time/your money can be spent. Put simply, fixed pricing delivers better value for you.
4. Encourages better communications which means a better outcome
We don’t charge you for communicating with us. Because of that you no longer need to think twice about whether you or someone in your team should pick up the phone and speak with us, email us or meet with us. This can only mean a better outcome for you. It ensures we both stay on the same page and our IP strategies and your commercial goals are aligned. What benefit is there if a delivered outcome is of no commercial use to you?
5. Greater access to IP expertise which also means a better outcome
With a fixed price in place it means your IP needs can be freely discussed internally between several experienced IP experts. This collaboration of expertise means we can develop and plan the strongest IP strategy for your business. This won’t cost you more and once again delivers better value for your business. Another time based professional service based firm would probably charge you for that internal planning session (eg. 3 lawyers x each of their hourly rates X each 6 minute increment spent – that adds up!). We don’t. We’re passionate in what we do and we want to see the right outcome achieved.