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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. [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']

Survey Reveals Role of Procurement In "High-End" Legal Services Market

Procurement Management

A trade organization for legal procurement professionals will release its 2016 Legal Procurement Survey on Monday, providing new information on who’s making purchasing decisions, when discounts are expected and other data about legal spend and budgeting trends.

Conducted by Buying Legal Council, the survey polled 92 legal procurement and client-side legal operations professionals. Respondents came from a wide range of industries, with 86 percent of respondents coming from companies that have at least $1.7 billion in annual revenue and 45 percent from companies that have between $4 and $25 billion in annual revenue. Read more...

Is the Billable Hour Killing Your Legal Marketing Effectiveness?

Dilbert-Thinking-Billing

Hate to say it, but most lawyers are doomed from the moment they step out of law school. They instantly become immersed in a workplace culture that exalts all the wrong things. And it’s rigged to make them work excessively for diminishing returns.

For some reason, our industry considers working long hours to be a badge of honor. I know I felt that pressure, from the very first job I had. Bill those hours, associate. Because you’re being measured on them.

And with that lesson learned, we all take to our own practices, now as business owners, with all the wrong priorities. Read more...

How to Price Legal Services to Build Client Relationships

Relationship

If you’re concerned that too many of your client relationships might be at risk, fee predictability could be your best bet to keep them in the fold.

Providing high-quality advice and delivering the legal work that’s needed, though crucial, is insufficient on its own.

The big question for inside counsel and law firms is, can we achieve fee predictability and still ensure a profitable relationship? Thankfully, the answer is yes — but you’ll probably need to make specific adjustments to your processes, particularly around pricing. Anyone can offer clients flat fees or blended rates or some sort of alternative fee structure. But without understanding what it costs to deliver the work, it’s difficult to price legal services in a way that ensures sustainability. Read more...

Cheap is not cheerful, as only one in 10 choose conveyancer on price

Cheap

The proportion of people selecting their conveyancer on price has fallen to only one in 10, a survey of 5,400 home movers has shown. The same survey found that only three years ago 20% of clients chose the cheapest.


The survey also found consumers much more willing than before to trust estate agents for recommendations. More than half (51%) chose their estate agent’s recommended conveyancer in 2015, compared to 38% the previous year. Read more...

How to make your proposal client focussed

Tender

Professional services bids, tenders and proposals are tough (and getting tougher), not least of all because you are up against many other firms, each of which has experts as qualified as yours, who have practised for as long as yours have, and who deliver the same expert services for the same type of clients as yours do.

All else being equal, a well written, client focussed response is a must. So forget about pages and pages of unsupported statements about your firm’s greatness, and instead make the case for how you will help your [prospective] client. This applies to unsolicited proposals and capability statements as well as to formal requests for tender. Read more...

Perspective: Are Law Firms Just Like Other Vendors?

Mr Whippy

I recently spoke at a Legal Procurement conference where the topic was “Managing Relationships.” My takeaway: providers want to know how to close business and buyers want more for less – and know they can get it. It’s a jungle out there.

Has legal buy and sell devolved from a trusted advisor to vendor dynamic? Is there a “relationship” component left? Before answering, let’s consider briefly how and why we got here. Read more...

Embracing nontraditional ways to bill and budget can be profitable

Dollar Symbol In Businessmans Hand

The legal industry has never been more competitive. Forward-thinking lawyers and firms, however, can get ahead financially by embracing nontraditional ways of billing, budgeting and collecting.

That was the central takeaway from a Thursday afternoon session at ABA Techshow entitled: “2016 Law Firm Economics: New Ways to Bill, Account and Survive in the Current Economy.” The panel, which consisted of Nicole Auerbach, a founding partner of Valorem Law in Chicago; Kenneth Grady, Lean Law evangelist at Seyfarth Shaw; and Kate Jasaitis, a technology consultant at Solfecta Partners, guided attendees through introductory concepts relating to law firm economics, including alternative fee arrangements, Lean Law, budgeting, collecting and accounting. Read more...

UTBMS: A Breakthrough for M&A Codes

Utbms Setting

In the late 1990s, the concept seemed simple enough. Clients established outside counsel guidelines which included the requirement to submit invoices through an ebilling system.

Lawyers and other timekeepers would record their time using the Uniform Task Based Management System (UTBMS) standard. This standardization eliminated the need for lengthy text-based narratives describing the work performed. It also was intended to provide a means to view both the total cost of work and a granular breakdown based on the taxonomy of tasks and activities. Read more...

Perspective: Law Firms Must Focus on Profits, Not Revenues

Revenue

The recent Buying Legal Council’s Managing (Supplier) Relationships Conference in New York brought together legal procurement and operations professionals, in-house counsel, private practice lawyers, technologists, consultants and law firm executives to discuss one thing: how to best manage legal spend. There were many compelling arguments concerning the definition of the word ‘best,’ most of which danced around an equally slippery term, ‘value.’

There was, let’s say, a spectrum of opinions and a buffet of relationship metaphors in attempts to flesh out ‘value’, including a memorable comparison of the dating app, Tinder, to the sentiment felt by some law firms regarding the influx of procurement professionals in the sourcing process of legal services. Read more...

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