We measure out our lives in 6 minute units

A follow on to my post on The tyranny of time. Today in the FT, Megan Murphy asks whether it is Time to stop the lawyers’ clock, and cites BDO Stoy Hayward’s 2007 survey,

“According to a survey released last year by accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward, 97 per cent of company lawyers still use the hourly billing method when paying their external legal advisers. Yet 82 per cent of those surveyed said they believed hourly billing provided “no incentive” for those advisers to work either quickly or efficiently.”

For those of us in the corporate law market, this is not news. What struck me, however, is the fact that Herbert Smith’s expected costs for advising the government of Tajikistan on an alleged corruption dispute

“would represent 2.7 per cent of the central Asian nation’s gross domestic product, where the average monthly wage stands at a paltry $63 (£32).”

I take it that that is GDP before adding back the leakage from corruption.

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