Time and again we see references to the billable hour in professional services and its demise.
I want to stand up in defence of the billable hour.
Not per se, not as the only means of charging a client.
For the professions to be relevant to their clients they need to be responsive. The need to offer a choice.
How you charge for what you do as a professional should be part of commercial proposal to a client. It should fit the client and the professional.
After all they are both in business...right?!!
One size never fits all and suggesting that it does or should is outdated.
So project costs and success fees are right in some situations for some clients.
Billable hours will be right in others.
Let's stop fixating on time and whether its relevant to how we charge and instead focus on clients.
Doing that requires us to create the right conditions for our clients to flourish.
Let's offer choice to clients in how we help them to achieve success.
And in doing so they'll be delighted to pay for the value delivered.
The billable hour has long been the bedrock of how the legal profession works out how much to charge clients for their services. Fee earners log the time they spend on client work each day, usually in six-minute increments, and this helps them to provide clients with accurate bills and keep track of annual billing targets. While this model was effective in the past, critics say its rigid structure is incompatible with the current market, where clients are more price conscious, and see more value in project-based pay and success fees.