A recent article in the New York Times spotlights a practice what is all too common in the corporate law firm world -- overbilling or padding of bills. The article describes a fee dispute between an Energy company and DLA Piper. According to the article, internal DLA emails included the following, among other embarrassing statements:
"Now Vince has random people working full time on random research projects in standard 'churn that bill, baby!' mode," Mr. Thomson wrote. "That bill shall know no limits."
It may be that the lawsuit has no merit, although, the internal emails at the very minimum raise some serious questions about the veracity of billing statements or simply whether the client is being treated appropriate and receiving good value.
Most of our clients were at some point clients of major international law firms. Most of them have wondered whether their prior counsel engaged in similar practices as alleged in the lawsuit and cited in the article.
The reason is simple: trust. They come to Dermer Behrendt because their trusted advisors and fellow entrepreneurs have obtained excellent, real-time results at prices that reflect value, not stuffed timesheets. Entrepreneurs understand that just like their businesses were created to fulfill a need, DB was created to provide entrepreneurs with the option of elite law firm lawyering without all the perverse incentives and bureaucracy intrinsic to those firms.