Beyond the 20-plus emails that the firm received from clients thanking us for our decision to freeze billing rates in 2009,6 legal publications wrote articles discussing our actions.
Most of the articles quoted the letter that LP sent to all of its clients in early December of 2008, which stated:
"We have always taken the view that long-term relationships with our clients are more important than any short-term gain. Part of our client service pledge is to establish expectations and then to beat them. We feel that this rate freeze is another way to deliver value for our services and stay true to our commitments to you. We are all in this together and increasing our rates is simply not the right thing to do in this environment."
Two legal consultants interviewed by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin said that our rate freeze sounds like what many corporate clients are going to demand in 2009.
One of the consultants went on to state:
''What this firm is doing is a good way to get out in front of what most clients are thinking and many will demand in 2009 that there be no, or very few and selective, rate increases,'' said James S. Wilber, principal of the consulting firm Altman, Weil Inc.
''It will be difficult to get clients to accept rate increases in 2009, at least in early 2009 anyway, so this move is consistent with that fact. But it also puts the firm on the right side of history and shows that they hear what general counsel are saying,''Wilber continued.
The right side of history? Thank you we feel honored to do our part.