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Value is very important to clients, but they do not always understand the bigger picture of your value when looking at a bill. Instead of just providing a bill, you can easily offer your clients some perspective that clearly illustrates the value of your legal services.
In any transactional work, when the client asks what the various costs will be in order to close the transaction, focus your response on the value of the completed transaction to the client, not just the associated legal fees and expenses. To take a hypothetical example, tell your client that these are the various fees and expenses that will be incurred in order to close an I.P.O. transaction:
- Investment bank’s underwriting fee: $4MM
- Underwriter’s counsel fee: $400,000
- Auditor’s fee: $400,000
- Your law firm’s fee: $1.2 MM
- Printer’s fee, etc.: $450,000
And, oh yes, your client will receive $750 MM in net proceeds at closing. Suddenly, in that context, your firm’s fee of $1.2 MM doesn’t sound as shocking. You are positioning the value of the legal service to your client, not just the cost of the service.
One final note: Ensure you use the right tone and language when discussing value with clients. Don’t brush aside concerns. Instead, ask more questions and be genuinely open to a discussion of where your clients find value and where they don’t see value. Position yourself as a true partner, and the discussion can be positive and productive.