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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.

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Pricing & profitability one of your 2016 projects?

Red-Adair-Quote

The road to hell is, so the saying goes, paved with good intentions. Firms often know that pricing is something that they need to address, or at least would benefit from addressing but aren't quite sure where to start. Managing Partners and people in senior management roles often bemoan the fact that they have had a couple of attempts at implementing change from within but have been met with indifference if not resistance. Sometimes there is an awareness of the importance of the issue but it hasn't yet floated to the surface of firms' priorities list. Read more...

More pricing wisdom from Dilbert

Dilbert-Thinking-Billing

Any lawyer who has wrestled with clients over 'multi-tasking' can relate to this conundrum. Much easier to holistically price a job than get bogged down with the constituent components which only move the discussion away from what the job is worth and into the nit-picking minutiae.

Commission further simplifies public procurement across the EU

European-Commission

Today, the European Commission adopted the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) that will considerably reduce the administrative burden for companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who want to have a fair chance at winning a public contract. Read more...

Strategic Pricing: Creating Conditions to Succeed

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The difference between pricing legal work the way law firms have always done it and strategic pricing is simple: The former looks at the price tag from the law firm's point of view, focusing on revenue and profitability. The latter focuses not on how much clients can be convinced to pay, but on perceived bang for the buck, that is, how the client looks at value in the context of its overall business. Read more...

Retrospective success fee was justified, High Court rules

Royal-Courts-of-Justice

A law firm was justified in charging a retrospective success fee as the claimant did not face different risks when he signed a conditional fee agreement (CFA) as when he had applied for legal aid five months earlier, the High Court has ruled.

Mrs Justice Patterson overturned the ruling of Master Simons, who had found that there had been a change in risk in that period. Read more...

If It's Easy, It's Not Valuable

Difficult-leaning-on-blackboard

What's scarce is costly. There is no more basic tenet of economics than the concept that products and services which are widely available, offered by a large number of providers, based upon a set of repeatable industry standards, carry a low price. That which is difficult to find, in limited supply, and available from only a few providers, is able to command a premium price. For professional services firms, there's a valuable lesson in the law of supply and demand. Read more...

Why There's Margin in Mystery

Mystery-face

Are you selling what's scarce? One of the most basic principles of economics is that products and services which are difficult to find, in limited supply, and available from only a few providers, are able to command a premium price. For professional services firms, there's a valuable lesson in the law of supply and demand. Read more...

Legal Metrics: Defining Success Beyond Spend Management

Legal-metrics

Measures are a core component of holistic business management. While quantitative measures are not appropriate for all business activities, performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are an increasingly critical part of optimising the legal function. This topic consistently arises in our annual review of law department trends. Spend management has been a natural and obvious first focus area for law department performance reporting. Read more...

Book: Private Playground: Journeys Through Law

Private-Playground

Thanks to Alissa Millano at Bloomberg BNA for bringing this to my attention.

Who's really in charge at today's law firms? Are the guardians of the law now putting profit before morals? Why has the Middle East become a playground for the legal elite? How can you go from being a high-flyer one day to being thrown under a bus the next? And can you really lose your job over an innocuous email? The financial crisis of 2008 has changed the nature of the world's largest law firms. The power of partners has given way to the rise of the senior management team. A trend that, at times, has produced the real 'silent killer' of the legal profession. Read more...

Comment: Alternative Fee Arrangements and the New Law Era

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Historically, efficiency was not a driving need in the legal world. The legal profession always emphasised thoroughness over speed, and the fees supported that approach. Billable hours gave legal professionals the flexibility to spend as much time as needed on a case or a contract without worrying about their firm's profit. The profit was built in. But billable hours have gone the way of the horse-hair wig. Corporate clients don't understand why their counsel can't operate with as much efficiency as any other business, and individuals prefer to buy legal services as a commodity rather than risk a bill that might snowball over months or years. The market demands change, so alternative fee arrangements are the new standard. Read more...

LPM 101: First Principles of Legal Project Management

To-Do-List

Law firms and legal departments are moving quickly to augment skills in managing how legal work is done. "Getting it done" is no longer good enough. With clients' refusal to pay for work deemed inefficient or excessive, it is critical for lawyers to concur on the scope of work and to execute well.

Likewise, "leave-no-stone unturned" is not synonymous with quality. Legal project management (LPM) is a framework for analyzing and communicating about business needs and the associated legal work as a matter is initiated, planned, carried out, monitored, completed and evaluated to improve lawyers' overall effectiveness. Read more...

Separating lawyers from sales function has major drawbacks

Salesman

Lawyers do not always make the best salespeople, but law firms are hesitant to introduce sales teams as an intermediary between lawyers and clients, according to industry experts.....the primary issue is that it takes time for salespeople to gain enough trust to get access to the client. Trust is a significant issue in law firms, as it can take years to build a relationship and seconds to destroy it.... Read more...

Avvo readies rollout of fixed-fee legal services

Avvo

The lawyer directory website Avvo has begun testing a service that offers fixed-fee, limited-scope legal services through a network of attorneys, and plans to roll out the service more broadly over the next few months. Called Avvo Legal Services, the service offers a variety of limited-scope legal services at a fixed fee. Services range from review of legal documents such as business contracts and nondisclosure agreements to more involved matters such as uncontested divorces and citizenship applications. Read more...

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