Experimenting with and adopting new initiatives such as alternative fee arrangements requires a trusting and transparent relationship between in-house legal departments and law firms, a panel of legal professionals said at the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium's annual conference in Las Vegas.

While firms have tried implementing alternative fee arrangements, or AFAs, some clients are reluctant to believe they promote cost certainty and effectiveness for both parties, said Melissa Prince, the panel moderator and chief client value and innovation officer at Ballard Spahr.

"My issue as a law firm business leader is that when we offer different structures in terms of fee arrangements for our clients, 99% of the time I would say that our clients are still choosing hourly rates," she told the audience.

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