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Best Practices and Ethical Considerations When Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Engagement Agreements

(522 reviews)

Produced on June 29, 2020

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Course Information

Time 1h 4m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Ethics

Course Description

This program, presented by Lindsay Tasher, Samuel Tasher, and Steven Tasher of Wyatt Partners, will explore how in-house counsel can successfully master the Engagement Agreement process when hiring counsel, experts, consultants, and vendors for litigation or transactions. Our panel will guide attendees through the entire process – the necessary preparation (including the Request for Proposal (“RFP”) process); the drafting process (including the incorporation of both hourly rates/fees plus any potential expenses to be incurred); and general best corporate/firm practices to maximize the benefits of what in today’s legal market is the most useful first step to address and prepare for upcoming litigation or transaction. The program will particularly focus on the fundamental underpinnings of the negotiation/drafting process, Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, Rule 5, and the client’s obligation and responsibility to select the scope of work and the terms/conditions of payment.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine how the Rules of Professional Conduct (particularly Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, and Rule 5) apply to the Engagement Agreement Process
  2. Develop best practices in determining the content of your Engagement Agreement (assessment of the matter, evaluating risks/stakes, determination of the type of counsel, experts, vendors, and consultants to hire, size/location of the firm, roles for multiple counsel, etc.)
  3. Identify the best way to structure the Engagement Agreement (format and substance)
  4. Review how to incorporate various stages of litigation/transaction into your Engagement Agreement
  5. Incorporate language to maximize information received on budgeting and anticipated costs for your litigation/transaction
  6. Discuss Miscellaneous clauses/provisions to enhance the value and effectiveness of your Engagement Agreement
  7. Explain incorporation of and adherence to Outside Counsel Billing Guidelines
  8. Gain helpful guidance from lessons learned and surprises encountered during the negotiation/finalization process

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Lindsay H. Tasher

Wyatt Partners

Lindsay H. Tasher is Managing Director at Wyatt Partners, where she focuses her time on attorney fee expert witness work, advising major corporations and law firms on the development of litigation budget programs and billing guidelines, and assessing and evaluating the reasonableness of attorney’s fees in complex litigation in federal and state court throughout the United States. Prior to her work with Wyatt, Lindsay was in private practice in two law firms – one in New York and one in New Jersey. She handled all types of civil litigation, with an emphasis on aviation mass-tort law and wrongful death/personal injury claims against airlines and their insurers. She also gained experience in product liability and asbestos defense litigation, as well as various commercial claims under both New York and Jersey state and federal law, including claims for breach of contract, fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Lindsay received her undergraduate degree in English from Princeton University in 2000 and her law degree from The George Washington University Law School in 2005. She currently serves on the board of Cancer Hope Network as co-chair of the Marketing Committee and Golf Committees (and, for several years, served as General Counsel), a not-for-profit organization that provides free and one-on-one support to cancer patients and their families.

Lindsay also served several terms on the George Washington University Law School Alumni Association Executive Board of Directors, and currently serves as Chair of the Barrister’s Society.

Samuel L. Tasher

Wyatt Partners

Samuel L. Tasher is Managing Director at Wyatt Partners. In this capacity, Samuel provides expert analysis and opinions on the reasonableness of attorneys’ fees in complex litigation around the world, and serves as an advisor to major corporations and law firms on the development and implementation of billing guidelines and other tools to manage their legal spend. Samuel also serves as the General Counsel of Cloud X Partners, LLC (a cloud technology company), for which he manages its legal matters and supervises its outside counsel for litigation and corporate governance. Samuel is also a frequent lecturer on legal ethics and attorneys’ fees around the country. Samuel received his A.B. (cum laude), J.D., and LL.M. from Duke University.

While at Duke, Samuel spent several years working for Duke University’s Athletics Department in various capacities, including the Compliance Office and Legal Department. Samuel spent a summer in the legal department of the New York Yankees. Samuel is licensed to practice law in New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.

Steven A. Tasher

Wyatt Partners

Steven A. Tasher is one of the nation’s leading experts on legal fee matters. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Wyatt Partners, a multi-faceted legal services company. As CEO, he serves as an expert, assessing and evaluating the reasonableness of attorneys' fees and expenses in complex litigation in federal and state courts throughout the United States and as an advisor to major corporations and law firms on the development and implementation of billing guidelines, litigation budget and bill review programs. His entire legal career has focused around the handling and supervision of major litigation throughout the world.

Before launching Wyatt Partners, Steven served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Wyeth and as Senior Vice President of its pharmaceutical division. His responsibilities included the supervision of five global operating departments of the company as well as supervision of the company’s major litigation.

Prior to Wyeth, he was a partner in two major international law firms, Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine and Willkie Farr & Gallagher, an in-house counsel for the DuPont Company and Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey where he handled major litigation and appellate matters and served as Chief Counsel to four cabinet officers.

Steven currently sits on the boards of several corporate, philanthropic and academic institutions and is an adjunct faculty member at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. His educational background includes a B.A. degree with honors from Rutgers University and a J.D. degree with honors from the George Washington University Law School.


Allan S.

Great course. Thanks.

Jennifer S.

Very informational; good presenters

Andrea L.

Part 3 was particularly helpful -- that could be a CLE in and of itself

Rachel D.


Louis t. A.

Well done. Learned more than I expected.

Rumbi M.

Very informative and clearly presented. Thank you so very much!

Susan M.

Thank you!

Thomas B.

Informative and well presented.

sharon g.

very itereasying

Kristy P.

Very slow moving. Speakers were knowledgeable though.

Gary D.

Overall, this course addresses matters of complex litigation above my ordinary level of practice. However, the importance of written communication and assurance of understanding between client and counsel is a theme that translates to all levels of practice. A very good course.

beth k.

Lindsey was engaging and informative.

Valerie D.

i enjoyed the multiple presenters.

Paul G.


Joshua B.

Good advice, particularly as I’m starting to build my own client base.

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