is often flat rate or hourly at about $130 per hour. We
also offer the ability to fix price projects or for regular
on-going clients to provide work for a flat rate monthly
fee with some sort of upward limit time cap.
“If you’re practising in-house counsel properly
there’s ample room to demonstrate that you are actually not only saving costs and avoiding risks but adding
demonstrative value to the business,” said Milstone,
who also recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of
his firm. “One of the things that we pride ourselves in
being able to do is to make general counsel in a large
company look better and allow them to make a better
argument for themselves in terms of their existence.”
The corporate market is evidently paying attention.
Brushing aside a frail economy, the so-called “virtual law
firms” are thriving across North America and Europe.
In the U.S., the innovative alternative has spawned the
likes of Axiom Law, which is now rapidly gaining market
share, serving over half of the companies in the Fortune
100. Like Delegatus and Cognition, its 280 attorneys
nearly all work on-site with clients or from home offices.
Even traditional law firms are giving a nod to the different business model. In Great Britain, traditional law
firm Berwin Leighton Paisner launched Lawyers on Demand, a virtual law firm that bills itself as an alternative
resourcing solution for in-house legal teams.
Closer to home, Delegatus has, over the past year,
doubled its team, from eight to 16, and broadened its
fields of practice to meet growing demand for its services.
“We were receiving mandates from companies that we
could not fulfill,” said Fontaine, who added that she
doubts that the firm will expand by much more.
Cognition, which already has a presence in Ottawa
and Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., has more ambitious
plans. Having closed in on the 20-lawyer mark and added two business development experts as well as a full-time marketing and project manager, it is now setting
its sights on Calgary and beyond, while trying to take
even greater advantage of the opportunities that lie at
its doorstep in Toronto. “Reaching the 20 lawyer benchmark was important for us in order to get the critical
mass of being able to serve all different kinds of different
industries and markets,” said Milstone. “We want to be
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