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(517) 655-4100

Value Based Retainers

Thomas S. Fredericks

2335 Rowley Road

Williamston, MI 48895-9133

Attorney & Business Counselor

Telephone (517) 655-4100 Cell (517) 525-1413

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Value Billing: Success-based Retainers and Fee incentives

Value billing and success-based fees allow us to talk with clients about compensation in terms of adding value to their organization. What separates us from our competitors is not simply that we do quality work, but that we provide a unique understanding of the value of our professional services provided to our client. We avoid hourly billing, which is often the opposite of value-based services.  By providing value added services, we become trusted advisors focused on our client’s business success, rather than a mere service provider sending invoices based on an hourly rate.

Value billing is based on:

  1. Defining the client’s goals and objectives.
  2. Conducting a value analysis: analyzing the value of obtaining those goals and objectives from the client’s point of view.
  3. Defining the value of the professional services driven by long term client growth, operational success, and profitability.


Essentially, the client agrees to pay a flat fee over a period of time for a given project irrespective of hours of work.  It is both achievable and preferable. It results in benefits for both the firm and the client. Compensation is based on the outcome and/or the type of service the client prefers. Sometimes the outcome or value isn’t a financial result, but is a combination of factors. The fee is then set based upon what the client wants or believes to be significant.

Some important aspects of value billing seem to be frequently overlooked. One of the main components of the value based fee system is that the fee is set up front. Unlike an hourly fee arrangement, the client knows in advance- based on the specific criteria outlined- what the total fee will be. Should the client’s objectives or the scope of the matter change or deviate from what was originally agreed, the value fee system contemplates a system of ‘change orders’ which would adjust the professional fee accordingly.

We build in professional fees for outcomes that exceed client expectations and create success-based fees and other incentives that demonstrate the consultant’s desire to partner with the client to achieve a successful result.