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With Validatum Pricing Espresso® we aim to bring you your morning pricing 'shot' - the best, most interesting, thought provoking and informative material we can find globally which will be of interest, relevance and help to you in your legal services pricing challenges.


(UK) PwC Survey: ‘Pricing & Profitability’ Tops Law Firm’s Priorities


"Finance functions continue to identify 'Pricing and Profitability'…as their top future priority (85% - a 10% increase on the 2014 survey results)".

A small but growing number of firms have identified both the problem and the solution. Pricing capability and sophistication at a firm-wide and individual partner level is being harnessed and for those firms it is having a swift and significant impact. Read more...

(USA) Some big firms are finding profit in commoditised work


When I was in Las Vegas a few months ago, Avvo CEO Mark Britton talked about legal services and how many large law firms are leaving business on the table by ignoring cheaper, more commoditised legal work.

You wouldn't think that law firms would be so discriminating when it comes to their revenue streams—after all, money looks the same whether it's in a bank account or an account ledger. But for many large firms, there is a stigma that comes with doing the kind of repetitive, low-end work that rarely generates sizeable fees. Read more...

(Canada) Testing the AFA waters


If it seems like everywhere you go these days someone is talking about alternative fee arrangements, you're not alone. It's been a popular topic at legal conferences and workshops for a few years now, but have they really taken off? And what exactly is an AFA, do flat fees or discounts count? David Felicissimo is one general counsel who wonders that a lot. Read more...

(UK) Senior Court Costs Office: Proportionality trumps necessity


Proportionality has trumped necessity in the assessment of the costs of a clinical negligence case, which were claimed at 10 times the amount for which it settled. Master O'Hare in the Senior Courts Costs Office said he disallowed three items in a bill that he considered reasonable for the claimant's solicitors to incur, but "unfair" to make the defendant pay for. Read more...

(Australia) King & Wood Mallesons Managing Partner: “Ultimately the billable hour will die”


The future of law will see the billable hour slowly being replaced by other types of payment according to leading legal experts who spoke at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) earlier this month.

"I think ultimately the billable hour will die," said Sharon Cook, managing partner, clients, at King & Wood Mallesons Australia. "I would imagine that less than 50 per cent of what we do would be on an hourly rate." Read more...

(Global) Big four accountants 'quietly' threatening mid-tier law firms


The resurgence of mid-tier law firms is about to come under pressure from 'intense competition' from the big accountancy firms entering the legal market. A report published today by the Royal Bank of Scotland says mid-market law firms had enjoyed a 'stellar' year with increased profits and rapid growth.

Those firms ranked from 51 to 100 saw revenues rise by 13.6% in a comeback from the economic crash that the report described as 'little short of spectacular'. But while RBS praises law firms for their embracing of outsourcing, reducing of costs and greater use of fixed costs, the report says accountancy firms are 'quietly' taking away more commoditised work. Read more...

(UK) Market competition causes law firms to rethink strategy


Firms need a 'clear differentiator' to meet demands of evolving legal sector. New entrants to the legal marketplace mean law firms must differentiate themselves to meet the demands of an ever-changing landscape, according to the latest research.

A survey of 95 firms conducted by Smith & Williamson - the accountancy, investment management, and tax group - revealed that 70 per cent of respondent firms think competitive pressure has increased over the last year. Read more...

(Australia) Client billing models: hourly fees or alternative arrangements?


One of the big issues in the management of legal practices is securing revenue. The basis on which firms seek fees from clients is a fundamental calculation, so it is worth considering what's at stake when choosing between traditional and alternative models, as this piece explores.

The ability for clients to exercise greater purchaser sovereignty than any other previous time period has had a dramatic impact on how many industries conduct their business, and the legal industry is no exception. The increased demands from clients to provide greater value and cost transparency have resulted in many firms reassess... Read more...

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Whether you are just starting out on your pricing career or are already highly experienced, whether you want to undertake some ‘light-touch’ professional development or aspire to the pinnacle of Certified Legal Pricing Professional, the Legal Pricing Academy® can help you achieve your goals” Richard Burcher, Managing Director, Validatum®, Chairman, Virtual Pricing Director® & Legal Pricing Academy®