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With the Virtual Pricing Director 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.


Commercial Finance and Pricing: The Unsung Heroes:

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In an industry where the optimal use of resources and price competitiveness significantly impact client relationships and overall business sustainability, the roles of commercial finance and pricing professionals in law firms have never been more pivotal.

However, their work often remains behind-the-scenes, misunderstood, unappreciated, under-resourced and under-promoted within the firm. We can’t help but feel that in many firms these professionals continue to labour under the burden of the ‘non-lawyer’ pejorative. Read more...

The Latin term for price is pretium.

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A deeper investigation reveals that pretium also means value. The ancient Romans use the same word for both: pretium = value = price, to indicate what is at the centre of each transaction.

Therefore, value is the most important aspect of price management and pricing strategy or more precisely, the value perceived by the client. The willingness of clients to pay and the price set by the firm always reflect the perceived value, or the benefits of the consultation and service provided. Read more...

The fate of billable hours is in the hands of artificial intelligence

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The billable hour has long been the subject of much debate. Whether you love it or hate it, the billable hour could face an existential crisis, thanks to the rapid introduction of generative artificial intelligence tools.

If AI is capable of doing tasks in seconds that once took hours or days, then law firms are faced with a dilemma: continue depending on that timer, which will be cut significantly; or find alternative billing methods that account for the tasks done, rather than the time that it takes to do them. Read more...

Consistent Demand and Increased Rates Help Dorsey Edge Closer to $500M Mark

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Dorsey wouldn't close the door on any merger opportunities, said managing partner Bill Stoeri, but adding he’s probably more amenable to group laterals and smaller firm acquisitions.

With a longer-term push on billing rates and a durable performance across borders and practices, Dorsey & Whitney pushed up gross revenue by 6.7% and profits per equity partner by nearly 5% last year.

Those increases propelled the Minneapolis-founded Am Law 100 firm’s gross revenue to more than $467.4 million and profits per partner to $979,000. Amid nearly a 2% head count increase, the firm’s revenue per lawyer rose about 5% to $890,000. Read more...

‘Detached’: Why Big Law May Rethink Its Focus on Productivity

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Now, there may be even greater emphasis on the profitability of a practice, not just hours.

Law firm productivity has continued to fall, with multiple analysts pointing to historic lows in billable hours per lawyer. But are law firm attorneys actually doing less valuable work in the end?

Yes, there are continued demand concerns in Big Law, with some law firms still over-capacity in their lawyer ranks. But analysts also say that law firm productivity may be evolving with the rise of technology that’s allowed (or forced) lawyers to pack more work into less time, a greater openness toward alternative fee arrangements, and a broader profitability push that’s improved leverage. Now, there may be even greater emphasis on the profitability of a practice, not just hours. Read more...

9 Reasons Clients Remember Pitches and Meetings

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You want to make an imprint. A positive imprint. You want to be remembered. Being remembered means getting hired.

Corporate counsel hear a lot of pitches and talk to a lot of attorneys — an average of 22 a month at last count. They report hearing a lot of noise and routine data about current matters — or in a pitch, they hear about endless numbers of matters and statistics. Read more...

Improving the success rate of your firm’s projects

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Hiring a fractional project manager can help firms better execute their projects without having to create a permanent project manager position, writes 3Kites’ Paul Longhurst.

Why is it that so many projects finish late, come in over budget and repeatedly fail to meet the agreed objectives? This leaves end users frustrated while those who have worked hard on their delivery are thoroughly deflated. If, like most people, you are all too aware of this situation but feel powerless to stop it affecting your firm’s projects, you may want to consider an alternative approach. Read more...

Lawyers Should Share Their Billable Hour Rates With Other Attorneys

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Attorneys may find they are not charging enough for their legal services.

A while ago, I wrote an article about how employees should not be scared to share their salary information with other people who work in the same workplace. Indeed, employers have considerable power to deny workers just compensation when employees do not know how much everyone makes, so spreading this information can have positive benefits. In a similar vein, lawyers should not be afraid to share their billable hour rate with other lawyers, since attorneys may find they are not charging enough for their legal services. Read more...

Law Firms and ALSPs Share the Same Destiny

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Chances are that in 10 years, law firms and alternative legal service providers are going to converge under a technological strategy that ALSPs are already leveraging.

If you were going to create the law firm of the future, what would it look like? Would you hire a group of associates out of law school? Perhaps you could partner with a couple of senior attorneys and create the classic three-named firm.

However, chances are that in 10 years, law firms and Alternative Legal Service Providers (“ALSPs”) are going to converge under a technological strategy that ALSPs are already leveraging. Increased legal complexity, budget pressures, staff shortages and advances in technology will catalyze this eventual consolidation. Read more...

Law Firms Have Been Giving Clients Discounts, But Those Reduced Rates Might Be Swelling Faster Than Standard Rates

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Because of the large gap between standard and agreed rates, some firms have been able to raise rates for clients quietly. Now, there's seemingly pushback.

Following years of swelling billing rates, the gap between agreed rates and standard rates have been fluctuating, and that gray area is seemingly being looked at by some law firms as a way to push rates higher without alarming clients.

The gap between standard billing rates and agreed billing rates varies firm by firm. And while there was a time period where agreed rates were closer in range to standard rates, the gap between the two has been widening. But there seems to be a push to bring them closer together as clients push back against rising rates generally. Read more...

Legal Project Management in the GCC: an evolving landscape

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egal Project Management (LPM) is a discipline that has gained prominence in the legal industry globally, aiming to enhance efficiency in the provision of legal services. Reflecting on my own accounts with over 5 years of experience in LPM and over 10 years in project management, this article aims to delve into the present state of Legal Project Management in the GCC, with a focus on United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia (KSA). Its impact on shaping the regional legal landscape shall be explored, drawing insights from my current role as Senior Legal Project Manager at Bird & Bird (MEA) LLP (Bird & Bird).

Legal Project Management's rise in the GCC (specifically UAE and KSA)

Over the past few years, the GCC has witnessed a growing recognition of the importance of implementing project management methodologies in the legal sector, specifically in the UAE and KSA. Law firms are increasingly adopting LPM practices to streamline their operations and provide more predictable outcomes for clients. Read more...

Fresh challenges but new opportunities, Financial Benchmarking Survey shows

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Law firms are weathering an adverse financial environment, reporting a growth in fee income despite falling chargeable hours, according to our Leadership and Management Section Financial Benchmarking Survey 2024.

Fee income rises again – but early signs of trouble to come

Median fee income rose for the 14th consecutive year, with nearly three-quarters (73%) of firms reporting year-on-year growth in fee income. Read more...


Clients challenging lawyers' £365k costs denied expert report

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itigants in dispute with their lawyers over £365,000 in unpaid bills have been denied the right to submit an expert’s report that was never asked for.

Costs Judge Nagalingam said the defendants in Laytons LLP v Savage & Ors had been given ‘enough bites of the cherry’ by previous courts.

The court heard that City firm Laytons brought a claim in 2021 relating to 22 invoices from eight clients who had instructed it for more than a year. The clients, listed as defendants in these proceedings, sought to challenge the funding arrangement and set out arguments for a detailed assessment of the legal fees and a limit on the amount that could be recovered. 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®