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China Lawyer Hourly Billing and Value Billing Practice

I have been having an ethics debate with another attorney. Our discussion revolves around this:

1.      I assert that it would be unethical for an attorney billing hourly
to bill (for example) three hours instead of one (when the time spent was one hour), on a project, when the time spent re-using (for example) a motion which was previously drafted for another client was one actual hour.
2.      Other attorney asserts that it is ethical to bill three hours for
that one hour of actual work because an earlier client paid for three hours to create the original motion, and it would be unethical to charge a later client less because an earlier client paid more.
a.       My response is that this is essentially double-billing, and that we
have an ethical obligation to use any usual means to reduce client billable hours, including using earlier motions, pleadings, and parts of briefs (appropriately reviewed and updated, of course) when possible.

I distinguish this from flat or "value" based fees and contingency fees, and look only at the case where the client is contracted on an hourly basis.

Another colleague responded:


Let me pass these examples by you:

 

An example of China lawyer - judge relationship

China lawyer - judge relationship has never been well.

I think what I find most disturbing about this is the judge just not giving a shit what goes on in her courtroom.  I mean, the bailiff doesn't even try to justify his arrest with something like, "Oh we found drugs on you during my random drug search."  No, he is pretty much encouraged by the other guy (the one in yellow) for "making a false allegation against a police officer."  I'm glad she had the guts to step up to the microphone and repeat her protests after making the bailiffs believe she was going to cooperate with their forced recantation.

I would make a motion to substitute counsel (if the old attorney is also refusing to withdraw).  With it I would include an affidavit from the client saying they discharged the old attorney on x date and notified the attorney of the discharge.  Then in your motion state you were hired on x date, that attorney has refused to sign the substitution of counsel, that the attorney has refused to withdraw from the case, the client has the right to choose their own attorney and you request the court to remove the previous attorney as attorney of record and enter in your appearance as the current attorney of record.

 

China Legal Consultant

 

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A China Law Firm's Team Work

Over ten years ago, this china law firm observed “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision – the ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Lawyers seek to obtain uncommon results for each client, and an effective lawyer has to develop excellent skills to work as a team both with each client and with the lawyers, staff, and others to address the client’s objectives efficiently. We have associated lawyer and law firm in Anhui, Gansu, Hainan, Hong Kong, Jiangxi, NeiMongol, Shandong, Tianjin, Zhejiang, Beijing, Guangdong, Hebei, Hubei, Jilin, Ningxia, Shanghai, Tibet, Chongqing, Guangxi, Heilongjiang, Hunan, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shanxi, Xinjiang, Fujian, Guizhou, Henan, Jiangsu, Macau, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan. Teamwork is essential to our Success.

Only with exclusive insight into our client’s issues can we implement solutions based on first-hand knowledge. It is authentic intelligence that drives our Firm’s business strategies.  Our well-planned client teams allow our Firm to streamline efforts, facilitate further communication between lawyers and the client, and institutionalize the client. They also help with associate training, mentoring and recruiting.

The level of direct and indirect interaction between a business owner or corporate counsel and an outside law firm is the single biggest differentiator between firms that are successful and firms that are not. Many law firms are only reactive (responding only to a particular client’s needs in one particular situation) rather than proactive (developing solutions based on ongoing trends and issues that will satisfy a wide range of needs for the client).  We believe that we must understand what is of utmost concern in our client’s business from a legal perspective in order to fully serve the client’s interests.

The traditional structure of Chinese law firms offers another answer to the focus on reactive rather than proactive models of service. Most firms distribute profits to their partners each year rather than reinvesting money for future development. And the most profitable partners have considerable power to shift firms, reducing their interest in investments that will benefit their current firm. In general, Chinese law firms seem to operate on a “lone cowboy” model rather than one of collaboration.

This china law firm resolves this “teamwork” dilemma in a simple way: the “Client-Team Approach.”  Our Firm’s Client-Team Approach is not a one-size-fits-all set of solutions that would simply require our professionals to return client phone calls promptly, but rather a customized approach that gets our professionals up close and personal with client personnel, where our professionals become one with them, and the dividing line between Firm professionals and the client becomes unclear.  This approach is not a surprise to our Firm’s current clients.

Finding ways to engage and collaborate with clients not only results in better relationships for the Firm, but also in higher satisfaction levels on both sides of the relationship.  The lawyers at This China law firm are interested in our clients’ new products, services, and technologies; in our clients’ new transactions and opportunities; and most importantly, in our clients’ successes.

 

A China Law Firm's Value and Culture

This china law firm's structure makes us agile. Much of the responsibility for managing work flow, training, hiring, client acceptance, business development, and practice management rests at the practice group level. This allows for quick decisions and responses, as well as the development of group-specific training initiatives and industry-related activities. We have associated lawyer and law firm in Anhui, Gansu, Hainan, Hong Kong, Jiangxi, NeiMongol, Shandong, Tianjin, Zhejiang, Beijing, Guangdong, Hebei, Hubei, Jilin, Ningxia, Shanghai, Tibet, Chongqing, Guangxi, Heilongjiang, Hunan, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shanxi, Xinjiang, Fujian, Guizhou, Henan, Jiangsu, Macau, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan.

This china law firm's Value


Values represent a set of common ideals and guiding principles which are important to our professional lives and work.

Excellence


Providing the highest quality of legal services is the cornerstone of our success.

Integrity


Our members hold to the highest standards of legal and ethical principles in the conduct of their work and in their relationships with others.

Mutual Respect


Members of the firm respect the talents, qualities, and worth of their colleagues, clients, and others with whom they deal and act accordingly.

Personal Responsibility


Members of the firm have specific and general obligations for which they take responsibility. You "own" your work.

Superior Client Service


Extraordinary service to clients is another hallmark of the success of this China law firm. Deliver more than what is expected.

Teamwork


Individuals and practice groups, together with our clients, coordinate their efforts and cooperate with each other to deliver excellence and superior service.

Community


The firm and its members represent a unique and special group of individuals who share a common mission to focus their talents and generosities in giving back to the communities in which they live and work.

 
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I am a licensed China lawyer. Most clients are foreign nationals and companies. China Lawyer Blog have associates in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Fuzhou, Hainan, Hefei, Wuhan, Xian, Changsha, Xiamen and Hangzhou. Learn More

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This China Lawyer Blog is aiming at providing better knowledge and understanding of Chinese law for foreigners. Should you have any legal issue in China, do not hesitate to contact China Lawyer Blog for consultation. Preliminary consultation is free. Further legal service, however, will be charged in due rate and in due course.

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China Lawyer BLog AuthorPeter Zhu, an experienced China attorney licensed to practice law for more than ten years, the author of this China Lawyer blog, welcomes any enquiry or consultation related to Chinese law.