Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Jennifer M. Settles, Esq.Dec 06, 20220 Comments

FAQs Regarding The Law Office of Jennifer M. Settles



What are the Firm's practice areas?   

  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Commercial Contracts
  • Business Entities
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Financing Transactions 
  • Corporate Law and Governance
  • Fractional General Counsel Services 


What is the contact information for the Firm? 

Email[email protected]

Phone:  (602) 617-3938


Messages are returned promptly.


How much are your legal fees?

The Law Office of Jennifer M. Settles offers a variety of flexible billing options, depending on the client's needs and the type of matter.    Options include low hourly rates, flat fees, capped (or “not-to-exceed”) fees, success fees, phased billing, and monthly subscriptions.    These different billing structures are discussed in greater detail below.

Our fees are low because we want to provide great value to our clients.  Our fee structure will always be discussed with the client in advance and reflected in a written engagement letter.   In all cases, our fees are reasonable.   In certain cases, a retainer or advance payment may be required. 


How does a flat fee work?

Exactly as it sounds, a flat fee is simply a fixed fee amount that the attorney and client agree upon in advance.    The precise scope of work is detailed in the engagement letter, so that both the attorney and the client have a very clear understanding of what exactly is included and excluded from the flat fee amount.  Flat fees are especially useful for clients who prefer predictable costs, and for matters with a defined and clear scope.

A flat fee structure typically comes with an exception for unanticipated occurrences, for the rare situation where significant additional attorney time is required beyond what was contemplated at the time the flat fee was set.   This could happen, for instance, if the matter becomes significantly more time-consuming or contested than originally discussed, or if the client requests an expansion of the scope of work.    However, in these rare instances, any additional fees above the agreed-upon flat fee will always be discussed and agreed upon first, before they are incurred.    At the Law office of Jennifer M. Settles, there will never be a surprise fee.

The flat fee amount is due if the attorney's work has been performed, regardless of whether the transaction ultimately closes or not.  That said, if the transaction fails at an early stage, the flat fee may be reduced if needed, to reflect the legal work actually performed through the date of termination. 


How does a capped fee work?

Under a capped fee structure, the attorney's fees are based on an agreed-upon hourly rate, with a “not to exceed” cap in place.  In some cases, the final fee will be below the cap, and in some cases the final fee will equal the cap.   In a capped fee arrangement, the final fee will not exceed the cap, unless otherwise mutually agreed.


How does a success fee structure work?

Under a success fee structure (sometimes called a "collar"), the agreed-upon flat fee is reduced by a pre-established amount if there is no successful outcome, and is increased by the pre-established amount if there is a successful outcome.  For example, in a Merger and Acquisition (M&A) deal, a success fee structure could be based on an agreed upon flat fee amount, and if the transaction does not close, the client would be entitled to a 15% reduction off the flat fee; and if the transaction does close, the law firm would be entitled to a 15% premium over the flat fee.   Under this fee structure, the attorney and client share transactional risk as it relates to the legal fees.   A collar typically ranges from 10-20% of the flat fee amount. 


What are contingency fees, and do you accept cases on a contingency fee basis?

Lawyers and clients sometimes use contingency fee  arrangements in cases where money is being claimed, such as cases involving personal injury, workers' compensation claims or real estate condemnations.    Under a contingent fee structure, the client pays a contingent fee to the lawyer only if the lawyer handles the case successfully, with the contingency fee being a percentage of the amount recovered for the client.     Prime Legal does not typically take cases on a contingency fee basis.


Why was the Law Office of Jennifer M. Settles established?

Having worked in the legal industry for many years as both a provider and consumer of attorneys' services, Jennifer noticed that there was a shortage of  experienced business lawyers available to clients at an affordable rate.  To meet this need, Jennifer combined her depth and breadth of experience in multiple areas of business law, with a no-nonsense and highly personalized "white glove" client-centered approach, and the Law Office of Jennifer M. Settles was born.   In terms of legal fees, Jennifer fully appreciates that clients do not like surprises, and this is why she offers fixed-fees for many of her services - something that many larger law firms are unable to provide.    The law firm was founded on Jennifer's passion for helping others achieve rich lives of personal and financial fulfillment.


Why should I hire the Law Office of Jennifer M. Settles?

Jennifer M. Settles, Esq. has practiced law for over 25 years and has a unique combination of depth and breadth of experience in M&A transactions, commercial contracts, financings, real estate deals, corporate law and governance.     Her clients benefit from her experience, creativity, strategic approach, integrity and low fees.   By working with Jennifer Settles, clients save time, save money and reduce risk. 

As stated by the America Bar Association, clients should feel free to compare various attorneys, but should not just shop for the lowest fee. The cheapest lawyer is not necessarily the worst or the best, and the most expensive one may not be the right one for you.  Prospective clients should consider factors such as personality, time availability, and experience in their problem area.


What's it like to work with Jennifer?   

The Law Office of Jennifer M. Settles operates with total professionalism.  By viewing herself as an extension of the client itself, Jennifer has high standards and a solid work ethic.  Clients can rest assured that their interests will be taken seriously, presented and fought for with creativity, vigor, professionalism, skill and strategy.

Jennifer's values include integrity, clear communication, strategic thinking, long-term value creation, shorter-term wins and creativity.    Jennifer seeks to make the client experience smooth and stress-free, eliminating unnecessary drama and complication.    Jennifer return calls and emails quickly and is respectful of clients' time and money.  Additionally, you will always work with Jennifer; your projects will not be handed off to a less-experienced practitioner. 


What is a business lawyer?  How can a business lawyer help me?

Your business lawyer is a resource.   Among other things, business lawyers help clients structure transactions, negotiate and draft contracts, and employ best practices in day-to day corporate governance and operations, ensuing that their agreements are legally enforceable and that they are not subjecting themselves to unnecessary risk or liability.  Business lawyers explain terms and conditions of agreements, close deals, help clients think through problems and situations strategically and help clients foresee risk on the horizon.   Business lawyers may also prepare blog posts and other helpful content, providing the public with free relevant information.     Unlike a litigation attorney who typically becomes involved in a case after the problem has developed, a business lawyer is often engaged proactively, to help guide a business in avoiding problems and ensuring that small problems do not become large problems. 


What types of clients does Jennifer Settles work with?

Jennifer Settles works with small businesses, portfolio companies, large corporations, investors, lenders, family offices, entrepreneurs, sole proprietors, individuals, law firms and corporate legal departments.   Jennifer has years of experience representing, at different times, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, lessors and lessees; developers, entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups, investors, family businesses, family offices, private equity, portfolio companies and large publicly traded corporations.  She has worked with clients in various industries, such as transportation, ecommerce, medical devices, heavy equipment, infrastructure, banking, real estate, professional services and more.     These diverse experiences provide unique and invaluable insights into the priorities, strengths and limitations that exist on the different sides of any particular transaction, which can be a significant benefit to her clients by giving them the advantage of "knowing thy enemy". 


What is the Fractional General Counsel Service?

The firm's Fractional General Counsel program is like having your own in-house General Counsel, but without the full-time cost.  Our Fractional GC service is ideal for companies or individuals who have the desire or need for on-going legal representation or an attorney-on-call, but want to avoid the cost of maintaining an in-house legal department. Each arrangement is unique to the needs of the particular client.    Typically, the program is structured on a monthly subscription basis, for an agreed-upon scope of work.    The program can be extremely beneficial to clients, in that a long-term relationship is established and cultivated before the client's critical need for legal representation has arisen.   Fees and scope are reviewed and adjusted as needed on a regular basis.

As your attorney, my job is to know the law, ensure that you understand it, close your deals under optimal terms, mitigate your risk, and help you brainstorm and foresee issues before they occur, so that you can focus on what's truly important to you. 

Jennifer M. Settles, Esq. is a corporate lawyer at the Law Office of Jennifer M. Settles.  Jennifer advises clients on M&A transactions, commercial contracts, real estate matters, financing transactions and corporate law.  To schedule a free consultation with Jennifer, please call 602-617-3938, or submit a Contact Form through our webpage,

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