With the Validatum Pricing Espresso® we aim to bring you your pricing 'shot' - some of the most interesting, thought-provoking and informative material we can find globally which will be of interest, relevance and help to you in your firms' pricing challenges.
“I Have Serious Budget Pressures – Cut Your Rates!”
There are few communications from a corporate client that are more guaranteed to send an icy chill through the veins of most partners unless of course it is accompanied by a postscript, "… and if you don't, we'll be going out to the market again".
But about the worst thing you can do is to take the request literally and attempt to accommodate it. The first response should be to pick up the phone and talk to whoever sent it. This unwelcome missive from the client will inevitably be the culmination of a variety of conversations, diktats, Machiavellian manoeuvrings, and all manner of other goings on at the client end. Read more...
Pricing for law firms
There can't be many lawyers who enjoy negotiating fees or taking calls from unhappy clients who have just looked at their fee note. Pricing and price discussions tend to feel like problems, to be avoided as far as possible.
At the same time, maximising fee income is clearly critical to the success of the firm – and of individual partners and associates, whose status and career prospects are closely linked to the income they generate.
The days when lawyers could rely on working on an hourly rate, increasing year on year, are fast disappearing. A more sophisticated approach to pricing helps you win new clients, strengthens relationships and builds your reputation for offering good value. Read more...
Can Lupl Become the Legal World’s Universal Platform?
Can Lupl become the legal world’s universal platform? That is the question. Duncan Weston, Executive Partner of CMS, believes so.
It is an ambitious project that seeks to one day bring together potentially all commercial law firms and all their clients in one digital meeting place, where all types of work can be conducted and managed.
It is also a system that embraces the ideals of multilateralism, i.e. no particular firm or client runs or dominates the platform; and universality, i.e. any firm, with any tech stack, e.g. any DMS, any doc analysis tools, or video comms system, can come onto the platform and work with other firms and their clients. Read more...
RIP Hourly Rates
Having just recently celebrated the first anniversary of my new independent Hong Kong law firm, I wanted to share my experiences (good and bad - but almost entirely good) of devising and implementing a flat fee billing structure by charging only fixed, staged and retainer fees.
It is a massive departure from the traditional law firm business model of primarily charging on the basis of time to replace that model with one that totally eliminates all hourly charge-out rates, time-recording and professional fees based on the amount of time spent on performing individual tasks by individual fee earners. Read more...
Clients and Firms Don’t Often Talk Tech, Leaving Lawyers Reading Between the Lines
Many clients don't discuss their legal technology needs with firms, leaving many outside counsel digging into RFPs for clues. But understanding and meeting client needs isn’t always straightforward.
Many corporate legal departments and their outside firms aren’t having direct conversations regarding the firm’s tech tools. However, firms aren’t completely in the dark. Instead, many are reading RFPs to gauge what their clients’ tech needs are before setting their own software budgets. Read more...
Law firm billing in a crisis: Beware the optics of discounts
Amid the pandemic, law firms are experiencing acute cash flow issues; as a consequence, they may feel the need to offer discounts. They should resist this
We are in a period right now where many clients, perhaps more than even during the Great Recession, are experiencing acute cash flow issues. As a consequence, law firms are feeling a distinct tightening.
Perhaps more now than ever too, cash is king for law firms. As a result, most firms are placing a high emphasis on collecting as much cash as they can as quickly as they can. This is leading many firm partners to do whatever they feel they must in order to collect on their outstanding fees. While the need to bring cash in the door is paramount, especially now, not all strategies to bolster cash collection are created equal. Read more...
Discounts, Write-Offs and AFAs 'Widespread' at Law Firms Since Pandemic
Law firms took dramatic steps at the start of the pandemic to reduce costs for themselves and for their clients. But while many reversed their own furloughs and draw reductions, a new report outlines how write-offs, discounts and alternative fees remain "widespread," even as client demands have increased over the last year and a half.
Law firms took dramatic steps at the start of the pandemic to reduce costs for themselves and for their clients.
But while many reversed their own furloughs and draw reductions, a new report outlines how write-offs, discounts and alternative fees remain “widespread,” even as client demands have increased over the last year and a half. Read more...
“They Billed Us For What?!” Top Eight Most Egregious Billing Entries
As anyone who has had the pleasure of conducting invoice reviews knows all too well, it can be a tedious and thankless task. And, fortunately, egregious billing entries are few and far between. We are pleased that most law firms thoroughly communicate with their teams about what is and is not an acceptable expense as well as any customer-specific parameters. So while we hope you never encounter an egregiously questionable time entry, here, for your reading pleasure, are the Top Eight Egregious Time Entries that Elevate has caught in our work implementing invoice review programs for law departments and law firms alike:
Eight: $55 billed by an associate attorney for ATM access fees, laundry services, and tips. Read more...