We billed what our branding and the target markets we served allowed. That was understood. If those in those target markets wanted our services, they paid up. Now and then they would wrangle a discount or a freebie or a favor out of us but generally we made a very good living without angst about what we should charge.
That was then. Now all professional services are struggliing with the relationship between billing and profits. So, it has come to pass, reports Susan Hackett in CORPORATE COUNSEL, that a growing job description in the legal sector is "Pricing Director." That function works out a fee structure which will not hurt the brand, not accelerate client churn, attract new business, and allow for a profit level worth showing up to work for.
Some of the old guard might balk at any constraint on their pricing. After all, they consider themselves a premier brand. We know that some lawyers such as David Boies can charge four-figures for an hour. That won't change. What has to change is a correlation made between the actual work and what it's billed at. Likely when that becomes standard, even a recovery for the legal sector won't erase the new accountability in billing.