Fee Arrangements

In an ever-changing marketplace, Ward and Smith, P.A. continues to meet and exceed the expectations of our clients by providing proactive, cost-effective legal services.

Our approach to billing is crafted with the goals of the client at the forefront, whether it is a one-time consultation, facilitation of a complex transaction, or lengthy litigation event.

Ward and Smith often enters into value-billing engagement agreements. In a value-billing arrangement, our fees are based on a combination of factors as identified by the North Carolina State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct, including:

(1) the time expended on your behalf;
(2) the experience, ability, and billing rate of the person(s) performing the legal service;
(3) the novelty or difficulty of the legal issue(s) involved;
(4) the dollar amount potentially at issue in the matter;
(5) the results or benefits obtained; and
(6) any special time limitations imposed by you or the circumstances.

We also offer Alternative Fee Arrangements ("AFA") to appeal to the specific needs of clients who may seek arrangements that are predictable, controlled more directly by the client, or that offer incentives for innovation or efficiency. We routinely offer AFA's, and are adept at using our internal historical data to tailor AFA's to meet specific client needs.

Under any fee arrangement, consistent with our team-based approach, various attorneys and staff may be involved in providing our clients with legal services, and the hourly rates for those professionals vary and are subject to adjustment from time to time. We always strive to allocate work to the team member who can perform it most effectively and cost efficiently.

The Ward and Smith Way

At Ward and Smith, we understand that transparency and trust are key connectors in the client-attorney relationship. Delivery of effective, efficient, and responsive client service is our first priority. To that end, we wish for clients to understand that we are different than many law firms—we do not have an "eat what you kill" system at Ward and Smith. In contrast to the way many other law firms operate, our system does not allow "client credit," or "originations," or any other system that would incentivize an attorney toward inefficiency or expending unnecessary time and resources on a matter.

We simply work together to represent our client as best we can, every time.

We feel our structure and billing practices align the Firm's interests with those of our clients. For more information on our fee arrangements, please contact any Ward and Smith attorney.