Our Firm

How We Engage

Our Engagements Align Interest

We engage as a true partner—bringing value to and aligning interest with our clients, our Firm, and our professionals. While we will engage on an hourly basis, each matter manager at Shields balances our team of professionals to staff a matter proportionate to its risk. Junior attorneys, supervised by seasoned professionals, can be staffed on matters of lower value to appropriately match risk and reward with expected cost. But not all clients want younger, supervised attorneys learning on their matters. In 30+ years, we’ve learned that one engagement structure doesn’t fit all clients, and we’ve built our firm around sound, practical approaches to providing legal services.

Distinct Arrangements for Every Situation

Each year, larger national law firms lead the way to cost increases. In some markets, rates can skyrocket in excess of 20% each year on rates that already exceed $1,000 per hour. Facing regular cost increases, many companies look for alternative structures to augment or replace bill-by-the-hour engagements. Most law firms aren’t designed to accommodate myriad compensation solutions, but Shields Legal is different. Our Growth to Exit® and Outside General Counsel services are concrete examples of how Shields gained positive feedback from clients who embrace flexible billing arrangements. But it doesn’t stop there, we have other alternative fee arrangements that help us address complex client matters in lockstep with individual needs.

    Contingency or Hybrid Structures on Commercial Cases

    Contingency arrangements aren’t just for personal injury cases. Our experience allows us to evaluate and take on large complex commercial matters and insurance-related cases against the right counterparties. This alignment of interest allows businesses to focus their resources on their company, not their controversies.

    Litigation Financing

    The professionals at Shields have negotiated, structured, and successfully resolved matters with experienced litigation lenders and underwriters. We’ll help identify and interview the right legal financing partner for your large litigation matter.

    Estimate-Based Regular Payments

    By definition, the challenges and opportunities requiring legal services are uncertain in outcome, value, and risk. We are experts in providing legal services and leveraging our expertise in estimating the approximate range of expected cost for a phase of the matter. When paired with a realistic timeline, we can provide clients a fixed periodic amount to be paid for the entirety or a phase of a matter. This streamlines the payments for services, which eliminates the uncertainty of receiving monthly invoices of varying amounts.

    “Dead Deal” Discounts

    Sometimes the biggest risk in a transaction is not closing. Complexity can drive up legal costs, on both sides, to significant and even prohibitive amounts. For the appropriate matters, we work with clients to arrange a “dead deal” discount on our fees. This aligns interest to ensure everyone is focused not just on managing risk but realizing value.

    Multi-Year Rate Lock

    Other firms must raise rates each year to accommodate the high cost of their professionals. Multiple increases take their toll on company budgets. Our model permits us to, in appropriate situations, discuss locking our hourly rates for several years or the duration of a matter.

    Limited-Scope or Task-Based Flat Fees

    It’s been said many hands make light work. Shields Legal regularly receives calls from various in-house counsel to handle discrete tasks they can’t get to in a timely manner—or perhaps they simply desire an outside professional perspective on a matter. Not every ask requires the full resources we offer, so we’ll engage on a well-defined scope and use our decades of experience to estimate the cost. For the right task or matter, we will agree to a fixed fee ahead of time.

    Outsourced Near-Legal Services

    Not all legal problems must be addressed entirely by lawyers. E-discovery, large transactional matters, and other projects can be augmented by near-legal professionals at the cutting edge of technology. At the request of our clients, we partner with the top near-legal service providers in the country and pass their expenses on directly, without markup or premium. Our near-legal service partners help manage costs within a company’s budget and let in-house legal resources go farther.

    Transaction Success Fee

    Business-focused legal advice is hard to come by. Our results speak for themselves, and we’ve led dozens of companies to a successful exit or major transition. But many clients have asked for ways to align interest in representation in a deal with value created. To answer that call, we work with clients on arrangements that include a success fee upon the closing of a matter.

    Shields is constantly improving the way we work with our clients. We encourage discussions on creative structures to align our interests, but we will always enter into a specific and tailored written agreement memorializing our arrangement prior to commencing work. Reach out to start a conversation on how we might work together.

      The mission of Shields Legal is to bring strategic business insight, professional judgment and competence to your company’s business and legal issues.