Overview of Our Chicago Law Firm’s Legal Fees

How Our Law Firm Charges For Legal Services

We understand that every client’s needs and financial circumstances vary. That’s why we offer diverse fee structures tailored to your unique situation. For complex and unpredictable cases like business litigation and contract disputes, our attorneys charge an hourly rate ranging from $300- $400 an hour. This ensures you only pay for the time we actually spend working on your case, allowing for a flexible approach that can adapt as the case progresses.

For more predictable services like trademark registrations, contract review and development, and business organizations, we often charge a flat fee. This allows you to know in advance exactly how much these services will cost, avoiding any unexpected expenses down the line. We provide a detailed breakdown of these flat fees, ensuring transparency and accountability.

In the event of certain business litigation cases where significant damages are being sought, or debt collection cases where a significant amount of money will be collected, we might work on a contingency or hybrid fee basis. This means our fee is either a percentage of your recovery where we only get paid if we win your case or achieve a favorable settlement or a reduced hourly fee plus a percentage of your recovery if we are able to achieve a favorable result. These two approaches align our interests with yours, as we are motivated to achieve the best possible result for you.

For emergency business litigation matters, ongoing legal services, or more complex legal matters, like advising on mergers and acquisitions or breach of contract cases, we work on a retainer basis. This involves an upfront payment, which we then draw from as we carry out legal work for your business. This arrangement ensures that you have ready access to our expertise whenever you need it, and can plan your legal expenses more effectively.

In all cases, our aim is to provide transparent, fair, and flexible billing that reflects the value we provide to your business. We’re happy to discuss these fee structures and work with you to find the best approach for your situation.

What Are The Four Different Types of Legal Fees?

As noted above, we employ various fee structures to cater to the diverse nature of our legal services and client needs. These typically include hourly fees, flat fees, contingency fees, and retainer fees.

  • Hourly fees are a common form of billing, where our attorneys charge a certain rate for each hour we spend on a case. This structure is frequently used in areas that require extensive research or negotiation, like business litigation or contract disputes. The specific rate can range from $295 – $350, depending on the complexity of the case.
  • Flat fees are often employed for more predictable, routine tasks such as trademark searches, registrations, maintenance, and renewals or drafting a standard contract. In this structure, a set price is charged for a particular service, regardless of the time taken to complete it. This provides clients with a clear understanding of their financial commitment from the outset.
  • Contingency fees are primarily used in business litigation and collection cases where a client is seeking a significant monetary award. Here, our legal fee is a percentage of the amount awarded to the client or collected from a third party. If the case is unsuccessful, we do not receive a fee, hence aligning the our incentive with the client’s success. This can be a viable option for clients with a strong case but limited resources to pay upfront fees.
  • Hybrid Fees are also primarily used in business litigation and collection cases where a client is seeking a significant monetary award. A hybrid fee structure means our attorneys receive a lower hourly rate for their work throughout the case, ensuring some income regardless of the outcome. In addition, we receive a percentage of any damages awarded or collected from a third party, incentivizing a favorable outcome. This structure balances the predictability of hourly rates and the risk-reward nature of contingency fees, often being used in situations where the client has a solid case but may struggle with standard hourly rates or full contingency fees.
  • Retainer fees are a type of prepayment used primarily for emergency business litigation matters or ongoing legal services, such as continuous advice on a legal matter that may be complex and take time to handle or resolve.  Here, the client pays a lump sum upfront, which is placed in a separate trust account, and our attorneys will subtract their hourly fees from this account as they accrue. This provides businesses with the assurance of legal assistance whenever needed.

Flat Fee’s For Our Core Trademark Services

We are committed to providing transparent, predictable billing for our clients. To that end, we charge flat fees for the majority of our core trademark services. These include trademark searches, trademark registrations, trademark maintenance and renewals, and trademark monitoring. We have found that these services usually require a predictable amount of time and effort, allowing us to confidently charge a set fee upfront. For example, for a comprehensive trademark search, which includes searching all state and federal trademark databases, we charge a flat fee of $600, which is generally based on two (2) hours of attorney time.  If the results of the trademark search do not identify any potential conflicts with other pending and registered trademarks, we will charge a fee of $300 dollars, which is generally based on one (1) hour of attorney time, to prosecute and register the trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (UPSTO).  This $300 flat fee includes responding to standard inquires issued by the USPTO examining attorney during the registration process, which typically takes between 10-14 months. We also extend our flat fee structure to certain responses to USPTO office actions, where our experience allows us to gauge the level of work required. This approach provides our clients with clear, upfront pricing, eliminating the uncertainty that can come with hourly billing. We are proud to offer this billing structure as part of our commitment to transparency, fair pricing, and excellent service in all our trademark law services. See our trademark registration, trademark search, trademark maintenance, trademark monitoring, and USPTO office action pages for more details.

Flat Fee’s For Our Core Business Organization Services

We also employ a flat fee model for most of our core business organization services. These services include business formations, business registrations, and the development and drafting of key business agreements, such as operating agreements, shareholder agreements, and bylaws. In the realm of business law, these are tasks that typically involve a predictable amount of work, enabling us to set a fixed fee for each service. This means you know upfront exactly what these services will cost, avoiding any unexpected expenses. Additionally, the flat fee will also cover other ancillary services associated with business organization, ensuring that your business entity is properly formed, registered, and authorized to conduct business in the state of Illinois. For example, for a single-member limited liability company (LLC) organization that is a manager-managed term company taxable as a disregarded entity or S-Corp, we charge a flat fee of $825, which is generally based on two hours and forty five minutes (2.75). This flat fee covers the development and drafting of the operating agreement and ancillary agreements to ensure the LLC is properly organized, preparing the articles of organization and registering the LLC with the Illinois Secretary of State, and obtaining the LLC’s employment identification number (EIN) from the IRS. Our commitment to flat fees reflects our dedication to transparency and fairness, making us a reliable partner in your business’s formation and ongoing operations.

Flat Fee’s For Our Core Contract Review and Development Services

We operate predominantly on a flat fee basis for the majority of our core contract development and review services. This encompasses drafting and reviewing various types of business contracts, including confidentiality or nondisclosure agreements, independent contractor agreements, reseller agreements, consulting agreements, simple loan agreements, and more. Given our experience in these areas, we are able to anticipate the amount of work required, allowing us to set a fixed fee for each service. This means our clients know exactly what these services will cost upfront, eliminating the uncertainty often associated with hourly billing. Our commitment to flat fees reflects our dedication to fair and transparent billing practices, ensuring our clients can plan effectively while receiving high-quality legal services.

Contact Our Chicago Business Attorneys

Our law firm has been serving business in Chicago and the surrounding areas for more than 15 years.  We invite businesses looking for experienced legal assistance in both litigation and transactional matters to reach out to our law firm. Our business attorneys handle a range of legal needs, from navigating complex business litigation to guiding you through significant commercial transactions. We strive to ensure that your legal matters are handled efficiently and professionally. Our commitment to transparent, fair billing, whether it’s a flat fee for routine transactions or a flexible fee structure for litigation, is designed with your business needs and budget in mind. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you and your business.