Last week I wrote Should Law Firms Impose a Cover Charge? in response to Bruce Carton’s blog post, BigLaw May Roll Out ‘Minimum Annual Legal Spend’ Requirement for Clients, commenting on a Legal Week article. The topic struck a note among legal bloggers. Collected here is a chronology of comments on the topic, as collected by my Tweets. If I’ve missed commentary, let me know and I’ll update this post.  

Feb 2: Legal Week reports DLA Piper will require new clients spend annual minimum, $200k likely for US || rationalizing intake

Feb 5: Legal Blog Watch post by Bruce Carton:  BigLaw May Roll Out ‘Minimum Annual Legal Spend’ Requirement for Clients

Feb 5: New post: Should Law Firms Impose a Cover Charge? || Discusses DLA Piper min charge + @LegalBlogWatch questions on it

Feb 7: Comment to my original post by Toby Brown:

Ron – as usual, excellent insights. The conflicts issue and cost of intake are both serious issues, but usually only discussed after-the-fact, once they create problems. I think firms should take these into consideration even before they take on new clients. They should think about these issues when targeting new clients. A third un-stated cost here is the cost of acquisition of the client. Why spend all that money pursuing a client that can’t be profitable?

Lastly, I think a cover-charge is a non-starter. In this market asking a client to pay for the privilege of being a client shapes up as the classic lead balloon. “We already pay you too much,” are strong words to heed.

Feb 7: Comment to my original post by Doug Cornelius:

There are a very good reasons for a firm as big as DLA to set a minimum. But what about those hoping to make partner? DLA just raised the bar for new partner trying to bring in business. It sounds like you can no longer pick up a small piece of work to try to get your foot in the door.

You can also view this as partners pulling up the ladder to make harder for others to advance up.

Feb 8: RT @carolynelefant Solos can cover DLAPiper clients who can’t meet the 200k cover || More on BigLaw ‘cover charges’

Feb 9: RT @ReesMorrison World’s largest law firm institutes minimum fee for new clients || more criticism of cover charge

Feb 9: Client Minimums or Service Maximums? by @wiredgc || more on law firm cover charges

Feb 10: by @legalbrat – DLA and the minimum spend: an investigation (sort of) || more on BigLaw cover charge. this GC supports

Feb 11: @legalbrat blog on DLA and the minimum spend ( now @Legal_Week || cover charge has legs as news

Feb 11: RT @wiredgc: Will 6-figure client minimums help smaller law firms? Depends on how small is small. || more on covers

Feb 11:  The new price wars by @jordan_law21 || more on DLA minimum client charge