We share some insights from another student of the Legal Pricing Academy - Gareth Guyers, Regional Billing Manager at Milbank in Singapore.
When did you get started in the legal profession?
I joined Eversheds (now Eversheds Sutherland) in 2007. I originally joined as a Credit Controller but then my role morphed into a Working Capital Controller working alongside the Corporate Partners to better understand the client’s wants and needs. This was a time when e-billing was gaining momentum so understanding the different e-billing platforms that were being utilized helped us work better with our clients.
Tell us a bit about your firm?
Milbank is an international law firm founded in 1866 with the headquarters based in New York. We have 12 offices spread across the globe. There is a great sense of pride working for a prestigious Wall Street law firm and that feeling is shared across multiple departments.
What prompted you to enrol in the Legal Pricing Academy?
I first started to get a feel for pricing when I was asked to perform ad hoc "What if" scenarios for partners. From that I was able to develop a pricing tool that was beneficial to both the Business Development / Marketing and Billing teams. The pricing tool was both simplistic and intuitive in its usage and can help provide realization rates depending on what discounts you give for each attorney level. By offering AFAs to our clients and understanding different fee models places us well to open up fee discussions when pricing our deals. I have also undertaken a Legal Project Management qualification which would complement the LPA.
Was enrolling in the Legal Pricing Academy your initiative or was it suggested to you?
This was my own initiative. My knowledge in pricing does need some structure so I wanted to take a deep dive into the world of pricing to provide me with a wider understanding of the impacts that a good pricing practice can have. It has been a real eye opener and interesting to learn how a cohesive pricing ethos across multiple departments can help the firm become more profitable while also providing pricing transparency to its clients. I have completed the first two modules (Intro to Pricing and Intro to Procurement) of the LPA and my Managing Partner and CFO have taken an interest in the qualification and are monitoring my progress. I am looking forward to enrolling on the next two modules!
How do you see your role in pricing evolving within the firm?
Our head office in New York has started the journey already into pricing and with the added benefit of having myself based in Asia can only open up opportunities for me to business partner with fee earning community and provide data analysis to be able to make Informed decisions. As pricing is relatively new I am very confident I can make a difference and help nurture others who want to gain knowledge in the pricing world. There is a lot of good sources of information relating to pricing so I am very excited to join in on the journey!