Eolis International Group recognizes that most requests for legal fee reviews usually reflect more about a client’s angst in the relationship and questions about efficiency than challenges of authenticity or allegations of outright fraud. Understanding the unique dynamics of the relationship between the particular law firm and client is key to performing a productive review.
The relationship between EOLIS and client begins with a review of the retention agreement; it progresses with a discussion of issues in question-time records, staffing issues and duplication of work, billing rates and increases, and any basis for invoices of disbursements, management of administration, extensiveness of intra-office conferences etc., but more critically, it's all about the relationship and the reasonableness of costs as seen through the eyes of client and law firm.
The legal fee review ends with an analysis of the reasonableness of legal fees, keeping in mind the spirit as well as the principles applied in the American Bar Association Rules of Professional Conduct.
Rule 1.5.1 sets forth eight exclusive factors to be included in the determination of reasonableness of a lawyer's fee:
- Time and labor required, novelty and difficulty of the matter and the requisite skill to perform, properly, the service;
- Preclusion of other work by the lawyer;
- Fees customarily charged in the locality for similar services;
- Total fees involved and actual results obtained on the matter;
- Time limitations imposed on the lawyer by the client or other circumstances;
- The circumstances of the existing relationship with the client;
- The experience, reputation and ability of the lawyer;
- And, whether the fee is fixed or contingent.
EOLIS is as focused on relationship counseling as it is on fair and efficient billing practices, recognizing that often the right result is untangling the misunderstandings and forging a better contract rather than scrapping the relationship.