Nathan Koppel and Ashby Jones shock the world in the WSJ today with news that the "'Billable Hour' [Has Come] Under Attack" and that, "In Recession, Clients Push Law Firms for Flat-Fee Contracts".
Big clients seem to have learned that paying by the hour promotes waste. The risk of sloppy, useless, and hurtful work falls only on the client. A flat fee, on the other hand, shifts some of the risk to the lawyers; it also rewards lean staffing.
Do flat fees produce the same (or better) legal outcomes for clients? What do you clients out there say?