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Mary Lou Wakimura was Interviewed on How IP Attorneys and In-house Navigate Billing Disputes

Mary Lou Wakimura, Principal at Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds, was recently interviewed for an article in Managing IP.  The article discusses how businesses have tried to sue their lawyers over billing issues. The article covers best practices for firms to adopt to ensure they don’t find themselves facing similar challenges.

Managing IP states, “In the intellectual property domain, several factors could be behind billing disputes. The scope of work going beyond the initial arrangement, or an attorney running into unexpected challenges while handling a case can both cause drama, according to sources.” Mary Lou Wakimura says, “Attorneys must try to understand their client’s business and budgetary goals when taking on a project. You need to have a healthy conversation with your clients.”

Mary Lou also explains, “Firms can avoid back and forth at the billing stage if an attorney immediately writes to their client as soon as they anticipate that they would need to spend more time on a matter than initially planned.”

She continues, “It's all about timing – it doesn’t take a long time to let the client know that the scope of work has increased.” And “lawyers must set proper expectations for clients from the get-go.”

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Managing IP is the world's leading source of analysis on all IP developments worldwide. Established in 1990, it is staffed by experienced reporters in our offices in London, New York and Hong Kong. Alongside the long-running magazine, its website, newsletters and social media provide in-house counsel with practical advice and information, as well as keeping them at the center of IP hot topics. Its legal directory, IP STARS, is the specialist guide to the very best firms and practitioners for IP protection and legal services in more than 80 jurisdictions.

About Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds

Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds is among New England’s largest law firms dedicated to the practice of intellectual property law. The firm specializes in patents, trademarks, intellectual property litigation, copyrights, licensing, due diligence, opinions, trade secrets, and intellectual property counseling. The firm’s legal staff has extensive scientific and technical expertise in biotechnology, chemistry, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, physics, optics, nanotechnology, and electrical, chemical and mechanical engineering, and evolving combinations of science and technology.