BigLaw to Smaller Law: Herbert Smith Freehills Partner Exits to Start Litigation Boutique

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Ditching the Billable Hour for Pricing Certainty of Client-Focused Alternative Fee Structures

Clients buy results, a desired outcome, not hours. Time for us is strictly an investment in the client, not a measure of productivity or value.

(April 30, 2017) -- The trend of top lawyers leaving top law firms to launch boutiques continues. The latest BigLaw partner to make the move is veteran trial lawyer David L. Wallace, who has left Herbert Smith Freehills' New York outpost to launch Wallace Law PLLC, a trial boutique practice focused on civil litigation and dispute resolution.

"The old model is broken and unsustainable," notes Wallace. "I left that Dickensian world for the freedom to lawyer on different terms, for the autonomy and flexibility of a smaller platform, for simpler client relationships, to escape the tyranny of the billable hour, for a new challenge. Basically, to avoid becoming irrelevant."

Serving clients nationwide both inside and outside the courtroom, Wallace Law takes a timeless approach to advocacy. Rather than join the madding crowd in solving problems on an hourly basis, it works on a non-hourly basis under fee structures that are agreed upfront, before any work begins, and specifically geared towards the client's value drivers, business goals, and desired results.

David Wallace, the firm's founder, a high-caliber trial advocate who for years has consistently been nationally ranked by clients and peers among the best in the business, says: "Look, I get it. Law's a business. But it's more than that. We don't make widgets. Our services are ultimately about people, relationships, and outcome -- value creation. And the billable hour doesn't value those things much at all. The reality is that unless you're dealing with bet-the-company stuff, trial work doesn't fit old law's economic model very well."

With offices in White Plains and Manhattan, Wallace Law is focused on results, a desired outcome, what success looks like to those it serves, without reference to how long the process takes. Wallace adds: "Clients buy results, a desired outcome, not hours. Time for us is strictly an investment in the client, not a measure of productivity or value. In a world with more than enough risk and uncertainty to start, we think the pricing predictability of timeless advocacy is no small thing."

Wallace is a 30-year veteran of top law firms. After joining Herbert Smith Freehills in 2012, he successfully represented key clients of the firm, including major food and beverage companies, in U.S. class actions and commercial disputes. Before that, Wallace spent 25 years at Chadbourne & Parke, where he gained national recognition for his fierce and tenacious courtroom advocacy in a number of notable tobacco product liability trials, including two rare directed verdicts, and also launched his group's global practice in the late 1990s, handling first-of-its-kind litigation for multinational corporations in the U.K. and throughout South America.

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For further information, please contact David L. Wallace, Wallace Law PLLC, at 914-304-8136, david@wallacepllc.com, or david.l.wallace(at)live(dot)com.

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David L. Wallace

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