Leaving aside the whole issue of whether or nor the billable hour is the best way to charge clients, do you think it is fair to charge different client different rates for the same work?
This article by Jordan Rothman on abovethelaw.com would suggest the answer to that question is – ‘yes’.
And I actually don’t disagree with Jordan’s outcome, but do disagree with his thinking of why.
After all, at least here in Australia, we very rarely have the same panel rate for all legal panels we are appointed to so; despite, or rather, the fact that we will be doing similar work under the various panel appointments.
QED – IMO – it’s fair to charge different clients different rates for the same work we do (and, HINT, it all comes out in the wash when you look at the Average Realised Rate – but I will leave that for another post).
But, and here is the critical difference I have with Jordan’s post, different clients will equate a different value to the work being done by you – and so it is more than fair to charge one client more or less than another client perceived on the value of the service they are getting.
For example, and I accept this is somewhat crude, somebody who has never been divorced before and whom your firm ‘looks after’ in a very emotional period of their life is way more likely to value the service your firm provides than someone going through their fifth divorce – so charge them more!
If you want to have a chat about how you can maximise your value opportunities, feel free to reach out.