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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.

Eight steps to pricing transformation

Pricing

Many law firms have in recent years begun pricing improvement initiatives. However, many have failed to realise the full potential for profitability. And inevitably some firms have slipped back into old habits, losing all of the gains originally achieved.

The fact is that shifting to a new way of doing things is hard. It takes leadership and consistent focus, but the spectacular rewards completely justify the effort involved. Read more...

Solicitor suspended for “dumping” hours on file to meet billing targets

Billing Metrics

A solicitor who “dumped” hundreds of hours of unjustified time on a largely completed file in a bid to meet his billing targets has been suspended for nine months.

Clive Austin recorded nearly 530 hours against a probate matter during 2017 when his employer, Southend firm Giles Wilson, reckoned that “a reasonable and proportionate amount of time” to have spent on the file was about 15 hours. Read more...

Legal Project Management and Legal Process Improvement Explained

Legal Project Management Demystified

Legal Project Management (LPM) and Legal Process Improvement (LPI).

What are they?

What is the relationship between them?

How do they work in practice?

This article answers these questions.

Read more...

Alternative Fees Hit a Wall, Hard

Alternative Fees

The most successful alternative fee arrangements share 5 traits. They are:

  • Clear as a bell
  • Easy to negotiate
  • Happened quickly
  • Characterized by the highest trust levels
  • Show obvious benefit

These traits are a lot harder to find as both law firms and corporate counsel navigate their current worlds. As of now, only 48.7% of clients report using an AFA. Last year (June of 2020) — 70% of clients reported using AFAs. Here’s why: Read more...

'End billable hours and measure output to achieve gender parity' – magic circle chief

Billable Hours

A magic circle chief has called for billable hours to be abolished to help achieve gender parity in the legal profession.

Delivering the keynote speech at the Fiona Woolf Lecture yesterday, Freshfields senior partner Georgia Dawson said she had ‘not seen the necessary action, or in some quarters of the profession a sense of urgency, for action to move us to a profession with true gender parity’.

Dawson, who last year was elected Freshfields’ first female senior partner, said the pace of change to date had been ‘too slow’ but acknowledged that some progress on gender equality had been made. For instance, law remained a ‘highly appealing’ career choice and access to the profession did not appear to be a significant problem as far as graduates are concerned. In some parts of the profession, women are getting to the top levels and there are a significant number of women in senior in-house roles. Read more...

Global trends in legal 2021: Growth opportunities are there, but law firms will have to work for them

Growth

In looking at the global trends we've seen in the legal industry throughout 2021, we determine that law firms have a chance to take advantage of new growth opportunities, but it won't be an easy road

As the global pandemic slogs onward, with fresh worries over potential new virus variants and lockdowns, the world’s legal industry continues to battle back, trying to restore something close to normal — in both their working operations and in client services — for the coming year. Read more...

ALSPs capture just 2% of outsourced legal department work for ‘megamatters’, report finds

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Billing data analysis suggests in-house teams should focus more on largest matters to achieve cost savings.

Alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) have captured a tiny proportion of corporate legal department spending despite their potential for generating significant savings, according to analysis of legal bills in the US.

The LegalVIEW Insights report by Wolters Kluwer found that ALSPs accounted for just 2.2% of megamatter work, which is defined as legal matters that accrue more than $1m in costs. Read more...

'The Proof Is in the Pudding': Why Focus on Billing Is Paying Off for Law Firms

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Law firms' focus on billing and collections, which increased in 2020 with the onset of COVID-19, helped boost inventory by 12.4% throughout the Am Law 200 this year and is likely to remain an emphasis for lawyers going forward, according to a recent report.

One of the top drivers of revenue growth last year has again padded Big Law’s bottom line, especially for firms in the Second Hundred and beyond.

Law firms’ focus on billing and collections, which increased in 2020 with the onset of COVID-19, helped boost inventory by 12.4% throughout the Am Law 200 this year and is likely to remain an emphasis for lawyers going forward, according to a recent report. Read more...

How Can Big Law Fix Its Biggest Problems?

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From the bane of the billable hour to talent woes and culture concerns, the industry's most pressing problems lack easy solutions. But it doesn't take a magic wand to make progress.

As the curtain opens on 2022, Big Law continues to be a big paradox.

From a dollars-and-cents perspective, things could hardly be better. Law firms are getting the “best of all worlds,” as Wells Fargo’s Legal Specialty Group phrased it this fall, with growth in demand, rates and productivity keeping revenue and profits soaring. Read more...

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