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With Validatum Pricing Espresso® we aim to bring you your regular 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. [Note: we don't always agree with the content of others that we post but the philosophy of Validatum Pricing Espresso® is shared perspectives, not a personal 'soap-box']



PRESS RELEASE: Legal tech heavy-weight Fieldfisher opts for new generation pricing platform

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LONDON (28th February 2020) – Virtual Pricing Director®, the legal pricing platform conceived and built over two years by leading international legal pricing experts Validatum® and leading UK cost consultancy Burcher Jennings has just been adopted by legal tech heavy-weight Fieldfisher.

Responding to rapid growth in demand from law firms for a fully integrated solution that appeals to partners and senior management of both global elite and smaller law firms has been a massive challenge, but one that the founders have cracked with their fully integrated AI-powered SaaS platform.

Richard Burcher, Chairman and co-founder of Virtual Pricing Director® said: Read more...

Top 11 Trends Shaping the Legal Market for 2020

Complexity and risk continue to dominate client thinking. Clients continue to eat into their internal budgets to fund outside counsel work. The need for outside counsel who can meet their new expectations remains relentless. Use these 11 trends to your immediate and lasting advantage:

Clients Are Way More Fickle, and Changing Their Budgets Big Time

Clients are more specific and demanding—and just about ½ are different individuals than those you have dealt with before, as we will discuss in our upcoming, almost fully booked webinar: BTI Market Outlook and Client Service Review 2020. Use these trends to show you not only know what clients need today, but what they need tomorrow: Read more...

RFPs Surge to New Heights—How You Can Win Them All


Clients love good ideas. And they find them in RFPs. Not every RFP—all it takes is one really good idea to make the entire process worth it for clients. Could this be why clients are issuing RFPs at a record pace?

32% of clients issued RFPs last year, up from 28% 2 years ago—a new record. This is the start of a wave as 70% of these clients plan to issue another RFP in 2020. But it’s not all for naught—clients tell us the benefits they derive from RFPs are not well understood by law firms. Here they are, in order: Read more...

How in-house has guaranteed survival by cost cutting

Cost Cutting

Cost control and cost management have always been defined as among the profession’s greatest challenges, but legal operations has since learnt to adapt.

In the 12th Annual Law Department Operations Survey, a majority of global law teams revealed they have implemented cost-effective methods via technology to ensure their companies can continue to operate in the wake of global financial stress.

David Cambria, chief services officer for Baker & McKenzie’s Global Services said law department operations professionals have been operating like there are constraints in budgets for years, and are prepared if further cost saving is needed. Read more...

You Think You Won the Work, Your Client Says "Your Budget is Too High" - The Best Answers

Pricing Negotiations

You won the pitch. You had it nailed. You were ready for this pitch way before your client ever asked. You feel like congratulations are in order. Then your client asks for the budget. You work diligently and come up with a number—the number it takes to get the job done. Then your client says those dreaded words “I can get this from another top law firm for less”.

Once your client lets you know they want to work with you, they want the best price they can get from you. This is the opening salvo in the price negotiation. Attorneys tell me their immediate reaction is to try to figure out how to cut the price—and most clients know they can get something shaved off. But remember, they want to work with you. It’s nothing personal—it’s all business. Just like Michael in the Godfather. Read more...

Should firms move towards fixed pricing in the wake of FWC requirements?


Movement away from billable hours is the best way to breed a better, more hospitable environment for overworked juniors, according to five NewLaw practitioners – including one who called the new FWC requirements a “sad indictment of the old law model”.

Late last year, new industrial regulations were handed down requiring law firms to log the quantum of hours worked by graduate lawyers and paralegalsto ensure that junior staff are being properly compensated for work completed.

There was hope from one principal, in October 2019, that requirements to record such overtime might help ensure that emerging lawyers have better cultural expectations but, another principal recently espoused that it was possible that audits currently being undertaken by the large law firms – to determine where juniors are not being properly compensated and to reconcile such matters – are only just scratching the surface of issues facing juniors. Read more...

Killing Time – How To End The Billable Hour + Liberate Legal Tech

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A lot of people agree that the billable hour’s time is up. The problem is there doesn’t appear to be a clear path to reaching this outcome – and so we are stuck with ‘End of the Billable Hour Groundhog Day’, with the anachronistic approach to legal production always just about to come to an end, but never quite expiring.

This dilemma was perfectly illustrated at an excellent event in Belfast in January – AI in the Future of Law and Business – organised by Jane Holloway, Director of The Legal Innovation Centre, and also with support from the Ulster Business School. The subject of the infernal hour came up several times – and the consensus was as always – that its day had come. But then, of course, it also became equally clear during the day that there was no clear path forward. Read more...

The myriad benefits of fixed pricing models


In a Lawyers Weekly exclusive, five NewLaw practitioners outline how modern pricing changes multiple aspects of a firm for the better.

Last week, Lawyers Weekly explored whether firms should move towards fixed-pricing models in the wake of the new Fair Work requirements to record the overtime undertaken by juniors.

For many in the profession, the FWC requirements are but another in a list of reasons to move away from time-based billing, including that it can help smaller firms get their practices off the ground and, according to research, it can help firms be more profitable. Read more...

Dentons launches fixed pricing tool for Australian businesses

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Global law firm Dentons has rolled out a new platform across its Australian arm, which aims to expand on its pricing model to local businesses.

If BigLaw firms want a chance to compete in a competitive marketplace moving forward, they need to explore new ways they offer services to clients, two Dentons partners have said in launching the firm’s new Virtual Counsel platform.

“Dentons Virtual Counsel” (DVC) is a web-based tool which will allow Australian businesses to access fixed-price legal advice as and when they need it. Read more...

Law Firms Posted Impressive Growth in 2019, Citi Survey Finds

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Small demand increases coupled with growth in billing rates led to a 5.3% climb in revenue among sampled firms.

Last year may not have matched 2018’s performance, but 2019 was a year of solid growth for the legal industry, building on the strong results we reported for 2018. Revenue growth exceeded expense increases, widening margins. Rate increases were the strongest we have seen since 2008. Meanwhile, demand growth continued to accelerate as the year progressed. And while a longer collection cycle dampened revenue growth in 2019, strong inventory growth places the industry in a comfortable position to start 2020. Read more...

Even Without Client Pressure, Firms Are Becoming BFFs With ALSPs

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Law firms are proactively taking the "if you can't beat them, join them" approach by collaborating with alternative legal service providers. But these new partnerships could also force many to embrace alternative billing models and new technology.

The days of relying solely on law firm expertise to navigate corporate clients’ challenges may be numbered. Fueled by a demand to provide cost efficiencies and data-driven solutions, law firms are collaborating with alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) to deliver more legal services.

“Clients want new ways to perform work, and they are looking for ways to do it faster and making best use of human capital,” said executive director of Advanced Delivery & Solutions at Allen & Overy Cathleen Butt, who previously served as deputy general counsel at CSC for 14 years. Read more...

Credibility of value-billing as a ‘better business model can no longer be ignored’


The “value-billing movement” is finally gaining traction, and young lawyers must seize the moment and demand working structures better aligned with holistic wellness needs, says one practitioner.

Peta Gray used to believe that arguments about the tangential impact of one’s wellness upon their workflow were “motherhood statements”, and that at the end of the day, wellness didn’t matter so long as one got the work done.

What she has since learned, she recounted, is that “the results are in fact so incredibly tangible, both in terms of increased revenue and job satisfaction”. Read more...

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The coming together of these 3 power-house firms has enabled us to create something truly revolutionary. I have no doubt that Virtual Pricing Director® is going to drastically alter, for the good, the way lawyers price-up work” Richard Burcher, Managing Director, Validatum®, Chairman, Virtual Pricing Director® & Legal Pricing Academy®


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®