Our primary concern is our clients’ long-term legal and financial well-being, and that is what drives us. Every client relationship goes beyond the professional; our clients are, or become, our friends and family, and we treat them that way.
Spillman & Partners uses information technology and other resources efficiently to control costs for the client and deliver even greater value. We’re positioned to deliver experienced and talented client services at anytime, anywhere, across the continent.
Our attorneys and staff are ready and willing to serve clients needs at any time, but they also have lives outside of the office that include coaching youth sports, volunteering in the community, and generally, the pursuit of their individual fulfillment through their many varied interests. They are not cogs in a BigLaw machine; they are skilled attorneys who are valued for their knowledge and talents and who have the opportunity to lead rich, multifaceted lives.
We don’t find that the traditional billable hour makes clients happy. Clients want to feel like they are getting a value from their legal team that is reflective of and proportionate to what they’re paying for their work. A traditional law firm will bill an hour spent on hold with the IRS the same as an hour arguing before a judge, but the value of the two activities, as well as the effort and expertise required for them, is clearly vastly different.
S&P has adapted a more trustworthy and transparent billing structure to better align the fee with the value produced by the lawyer. The fee charged for an hour of work from an S&P attorney is a product of that attorney’s experience rating and what we call the Value Tier for that type of work, which something like the ‘degree of difficulty’ or complexity level of the work done.
This billing structure serves multiple purposes: it gives the client the assurance and satisfaction of knowing that you truly are getting ‘what you pay for;’ it gives the lawyer and the law firm the incentive to work smarter, not harder, in achieving the client’s goals; and it better satisfies the lawyer’s and the firm’s ethical responsibilities to its clients to charge only fees that are reasonable and clear.
The following is a description of S&P’s Value Tiers, listing the types of activities that fall into each tier. The lists included here are representative and not exhaustive; other activities or functions not explicitly included below will be assigned an appropriate tier level at the time of billing, and certain recorded time entries may blend activities from multiple tiers and will be assigned a value in good faith at the time of billing:
Tier 6 – Official proceeding representation, such as appearances on the client’s behalf before tribunals, boards, judges, etc.
Tier 5 – Calls and meetings with represented counterparties; drafting of operative documents.
Tier 4 – Calls and meetings with 3rd parties, other than represented counterparties; Review and editing of operative documents (contracts, pleadings, motions, applications, etc.).
Tier 3 – Substantive meetings or calls with the Client; Drafting/review/editing of substantive email, letters and memos and internal client documents (bylaws, policies, etc.).
Tier 2 – Research, due diligence, drafting/review/editing of nonsubstantive or internal email and letters,
Tier 1 – All nonproductive or opportunity cost time.