Partner moves from more established market players to new entrants combined with a slowing in the resources and infrastructure sectors has resulted in a fiercely competitive market. The high level of competition hasn’t yet seen any additional increase in pricing sensitivity attributable largely due to the fact that many establish players already positioned themselves in the “affordable” hourly rate bracket.
Getting a firm handle on typical or average hourly rate in this area was somewhat difficult. Some individuals looked to push the $700-$800 per hour mark however others were less than half of those figures. Certainly there were the typical hourly rate variations between larger and smaller firms however hourly rates showed greater on a matter to matter rather than on a client to client or firm to firm basis. Perhaps this can be explained by the large proportion of clients receiving retainer style arrangements (in comparison to other areas of practice).
With only two thirds of surveyed firms offering alternative pricing and less than half of firms offering a fixed price option it’s safe to say that transport law is a significant distance from the the front lines in the battlefield of alternative pricing (typically in other areas around 80% of firms offer an alternative price variation) .
The insurer driven focus of the practice area saw the standard stage based costing model frequently adopted by those firms who did embrace alternative pricing.
Almost half of firms who did use alternative pricing noted the use of a retainer style arrangement. Within other areas of practice normally between 15%-25% of firms offer/use retainers.