General Counsel“Our clients hire us to achieve the best possible result at the least possible cost ”
“With increasing frequency, the chief legal officers of leading corporations are now retaining small law firms and even solo practitioners.” 1
At Gerlach Employment Law, our clients hire us to achieve the best possible result at the least possible cost. Because we have handled cases on a contingency-fee model where preparation of a case is at our expense, we have developed a very efficient approach to employment litigation. Even big cases do not always require big hours. And, because we staff and run all cases using the same approach, clients who prefer to hire us by the hour also benefit from our model.
We are sensitive to the feelings that some law firms – – especially larger ones – – have lost touch with their clients and have abandoned the concept of efficient, cost effective service. Many large law firms have themselves become big businesses with lawyer billable-hour expectations that can conflict with the client’s interests. By contrast, we litigate using a one-to-one ratio between partners and associates. We also are receptive to our clients’ ideas regarding non-traditional billing methods.
“ . . . big firms have in part become the victims of their own success. When the big firms command hourly rates approaching $1,000 for their most-senior attorneys, it becomes difficult for the client to call the senior partner from that office.” 2
Our legal experience has taught us what is important in litigation and what can be safely ignored. We limit document discovery and depositions to the essential, or discuss with our clients the cost vs. potential for gain. For most depositions and other case-related events we send one attorney and one attorney alone to handle the matter. If at any time we believe more attorneys are needed due to some unique situation, you will be advised well ahead of time and will partner with us in final decision making.
Some General Counsel want to actively participate in all phases of litigation while others only expect good communication. Our team of attorneys, HR Consultants and paralegals works closely with General Counsel, supplying the level of support that you require.
“According to Horace W. Jordan, Jr., Co-Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Corporate Counsel Committee, the two dynamics responsible for this change are the billable hour and a feeling that the smaller firm are more flexibility in both arranging billings and understanding the client and its business.”1
“Curley also has seen that it is not lost on clients that in certain years they could be 10 – 20 percent of a small firm’s revenues and therefore will get immediate attention and white-glove service. On the other hand, the client’s problems can be just as big, and those figures can be 1 or 2 percent of a much bigger firm’s revenue. “1
(1)Ruth E. Piller, Litigation News Associate Editor, Litigation News, November 2007, published by the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association.
(2) Stephen J. Curley, Co-Chair of ABA Litigation Section’s Solo and Small Firm Committee, See, Piller,Bigger Isn’t Always Better When It Comes to Outside Counsel,
Litigation News, November 2007, p. 3.