The vast majority (83%) of BV firms require upfront payments before starting work on a new engagement, according to BVR's new Firm Economics & Best Practices Guide. The most standard practice is 50% down, favored by four out of five survey respondents. The second and third most popular alternatives for down payment amounts are 33% and 20%, respectively. A few firms want it all upfront—two firms in the survey say they require “100% of anticipated fees” prior to beginning work. Another firm says it requires 100% in advance for all litigation projects.
Full payment upfront on a litigation matter is something to consider because if you end up in court and the client owes you money, you may not get it if your side doesn’t prevail. That’s like being on a contingency, which is taboo.
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