The National Association of Legal Fee Analysis (NALFA) is a federal tax-exempt group organized and governed under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(6). As such, we serve as the professional governing body for the legal fee analysis profession. As a 501(c)(6) organization, NALFA devotes itself to advancing the lines of business and representing the professional interests of the legal fee analysis profession.
Our mission is to help ensure quality and reliability across the legal fee analysis profession, regardless of membership status. Our standard for analyzing and evaluating attorney fees and expenses is reasonableness. Our members observe proven methodologies and adhere to the proper standard of reasonableness when reviewing attorney fees. Our members follow Best Practices in Legal Fee Analysis.
NALFA has been quoted or cited by over a dozen different media outlets and/or publications: Bloomberg News, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg BNA, ALM's American Lawyer, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Insurance Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, Daily Journal, ALM's Daily Business Review, ALM's National Law Journal, FindLaw.com, The Florida Bar Journal, Law 360, ALM's Law.com. NALFA was also featured in an ALM article, "Spoiler Alert: Most of South Florida's Top Law Firm Billers Are Men"
1. What is legal fee analysis?
Legal fee analysis is the comprehensive review and analysis of attorney fees and costs by an outside party in a legal matter. Professionals who routinely perform outside legal fee analysis include attorney fee experts, special fee masters, bankruptcy fee examiners, fee dispute neutrals, and legal bill auditors.
2. What is the difference between attorney fee experts and legal bill auditors?
Attorney fee experts provide expert opinion on the reasonableness of attorney fees. Legal bill auditors provide a breakdown (i.e. tables, charts, summaries) of legal tasks performed in legal invoices.
3. When should I retain an attorney fee expert?
Generally, it is considered a litigation best practice to retain a fee expert on multi-million dollar attorney fee matters. On routine fee matters, of less than $1 million, fee-seeking attorneys can serve as their own fee experts. But on large scale attorney fee and legal billing matters, you should retain a fee expert before the fee-setting stage in the litigation. The work required to provide a meaningful review and in-depth analysis may take several weeks.
4. Why should I retain a NALFA attorney fee expert?
As fact-finders, judges have relied on, and often cite our fee experts favorably in their rulings. NALFA attorney fee experts can provide a fee-seeking attorney or fee-challenging attorney with the Rule 26 expert report required to succeed in court.
5. Why should judges use NALFA attorney fee experts in fee dispute matters?
NALFA attorney fee experts can assist judges in determining the reasonableness of attorney fees through expert forensic analysis and testimony.
6. What type of reports and opinions can your attorney fee experts provide?
Our attorney fee experts provide expert reports, opinions, and testimony on the 18 factors in attorney fee awards, including, but not limited to:
- Reasonable, Prevailing Hourly Rates
- Reasonableness of the Number of Hours Billed
- Percentage of the Fund: Fees in Relation to the Economic Value of the Settlement
- Successful Results Obtained for the Number of Client(s)
- Risk of the Litigation: Non-Payment
- Risk of the Litigation: Preclusion of Other Cases
- Quality of the Work and Representation
- Experience, Reputation, and Ability of the Attorneys
- Novelty and Difficulty of the Legal Issues in the Underlying Case
- Efficient Litigation Management Practices: Case Staffing and Task Assignments
- Economic Exposure: Fees in Relation to the Amount at Stake in the Underlying Case
- Fees in Relation to Similar Cases
- Nature of the Working Relationship with Opposing Counsel
- Customary Timekeeping Billing Practices
- Billing Judgment
- Public Policy Considerations
- Nature and Length of the Attorney-Client Relationship
- Fees in Relation to Fees of Opposing Counsel
7. How will NALFA assist me in finding the right fee expert for my case?
NALFA provides a step-by-step and case-specific approach to finding the right attorney fee expert. First, we gather background information on nature of the attorney fees at issue. Second, we search our database to find the right fee expert most favorable for your case and within the right price range. Next, we arrange a conference call with the fee expert so you can discuss your case in further detail.
8. How does NALFA assist courts with large, complex fee disputes?
NALFA provides courts with our qualified fee expert's biographical background, including CV, biography, case summaries, and contact information upon request. Our fee experts can be appointed as Special Fee Masters to assist courts in large attorney fee allocation issues in MDL cases.
9. What services does NALFA provide?