Sunday, March 1, 2009

How is billable hour on the way out?

The 12 January edition of Forbes, on page 26, has a full page opinion piece written by Evan Chester, presiding partner of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. He basically argues that it is time to stop billing by the hour for legal services: "The lawyer should identify the client's objectives, measure, calculate and come back with a [fixed] price." Would this work in the patent world? (It's a rhetorical question :-)