John A. "Jack" Barbour, CEO of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, was quoted in the November 27, 2009, edition the Pittsburgh Business Times. The article, titled "Pittsburgh's largest law firms adjust to recession by changing how they do business," discussed how law firms have been adjusting to the tough economic times.
As noted in the article, "Over the past year, large law firms across the country have responded to the recession by dramatically changing the way they recruit, promote, train and compensate lawyers and how they bill and manage work for clients. That includes, to varying degrees, Pittsburgh's largest law firms."
Barbour weighed in saying there have been "fundamental changes" to how firms deliver services.
"People are not as satisfied with the billable hourly rate system and having younger, less experienced lawyers assigned to work on their projects — unless they involved a high element of research," he said.
Barbour went on to explain how Buchanan has become "more aggressive about proposing alternate fee arrangements" to clients, starting with "properly defining the scope of the work" and giving either a fixed fee for the project or a blend of fixed fee and hourly rate charges.
The article noted that "Barbour also believes that the concept of merit-based pay increases — paying lawyers by how much they produce rather than according to years of experience — is here to stay."