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Three Innovations from Non-US Firms about Billing and Fees

You might want to think about these steps taken by two UK firms and an Italian firm, as reported in the Financial Times, Innovative Lawyers 2009 at 37. Linklaters has created a "global pricing function." For the huge UK firm, "pricing professionals within its marketing department advise...

To determine the financial stability of a law firm, how far should legal departments inquire?

When coalescing its group of outside counsel into a smaller number of primary firms or selecting a firm for a multi-year commitment, a law department rightfully wants to select firms that are financially solid, that will prosper during the term of the agreement. That desire prompts questions in the Request...

The Revenue Impact of Alternative Fees (Part 1 of 2)

Last month, Of Counsel, the Legal Practice and Management Report, published an article based on The LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees , which they described as "the most lucid and comprehensive study that we have seen on this topic." This post reproduces the first part of the article....

The Revenue Impact of Alternative Fees (Part 2 of 2)

Last month, Of Counsel, the Legal Practice and Management Report , published an article based on The LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees , which they described as "the most lucid and comprehensive study that we have seen on this topic." This post reproduces the second part of the article...

Risk collars: A great way to start offering alternative billing

Whenever I give speeches about alternative fees, lawyers who are just starting to consider this approach are fascinated by the idea of risk collars. These arrangements are essentially the same as hourly billing, with one giant exception: risk collars align the interests of lawyers and clients. If work...

An Interesting Point in Support of AFAs

Anthony Tijan's article in the Harvard Business Review about bundling services and goods goes on to make an intriguing point about Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs): "I remember receiving a legal bill that carefully showed the breakdown of all the expenses. As the buyer of these services...

A Qwest for fair billing arrangements – four arguments against fixed fees

Richard Baer, general counsel of Qwest Communications, recently made several points against fixed fees. He gave four reasons for his opposition to them in an interview by Corp. Counsel, March 2010 at 18. His points don't persuade me. Baer begins with the view that a firm operating under a fixed...

What every lawyer needs to know about project management, Part 1 of 5

This five-part series is an expanded version of an article I published last week on AmericanLawyer.com entitled "Teaching Lawyers How to Manage: Can It Improve the Bottom Line?" When I interviewed AmLaw 100 chairmen, senior partners and C-level executives for a recent survey of alternative...

In-house lawyers admit some resistance to alternative fee arrangements, but blast law firms, perhaps unfairly

A survey of corporate lawyers conducted by Serengetti asked them to scale their own resistance to alternative fee arrangements (AFA) and their perception of law firm resistance to AFAs. On the scale given, a 1 means "no resistance"; a 3 presumably means moderate resistance; and a 5 a "great...

What every lawyer needs to know about project management, Part 4 of 5

If we lived in a perfect world with unlimited resources, no one would need project managers. But here on Earth, resources are limited and managers are constantly forced to make difficult choices. For example, when computer programmers develop a new product, no matter how good the product may be, someone...

Client Agreements and Definition of Value

Client perspective is the primary concern for legal work valuation. Quite simply such work must serve the client's interests or it does not possess any value. The degree to which it does serve those interests will determine how valuable it is. Therefore, corporate law departments should ensure that...

The need to secure agreement with the client about the definition of value, By Steven A. Lauer

Client perspective is the primary concern for legal work valuation. Quite simply such work must serve the client's interests or it does not possess any value. The degree to which it does serve those interests will determine how valuable it is. Therefore, corporate law departments should ensure that...

Legal Project Management (Part 6) – Budget problems and solutions

Many lawyers believe that it is simply not possible to predict the costs of complex legal matters. As the managing partner of a firm with more than 1,000 lawyers put it in The LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees : [Some] litigators say [a fixed fee] just doesn't work at all, because who knows...

More On The Reality of Alternative Fees

During Jackson Lewis ' annual corporate counsel conference, as reported in The National Law Journal and on Law.com's Small Firm Business , alternative fees are "putting down deep roots." This got my attention, because although there has been much written about the subject including...

The billable hour: How sick is it?

The failure of the billable hour to die is back in the news. In a recent AmLaw Daily post entitled The Billable Hour Endures , former Kirkland & Ellis partner Steven Harper argued that, "Regularly over the past 20 years, optimists have declared [the billable hour's] imminent demise.....

WIP your receivables into shape!

What is WIP? How does the management of WIP save your firm time and money? Do you see your employees as a capital asset or expense? Managing WIP, or "work in process", is one of the most important tasks for any law firm. To many, WIP is just another number waiting to be billed. We, however...

Year-end countdown: accounts receivable

As we approach the end of September, firms with fiscal years ending in December should already be taking the first steps in their year-end fee collection campaign. Your firm's billing team will probably do most of the heavy work, but in well-managed law firms the billing partner for each file...

Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter (11/21/2013) – Owner of Spanish-Language Interpreting Business Used Fraudulent Billing Scheme

Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter – November 21, 2013 Owner of Spanish-Language Interpreting Business Used Fraudulent Billing Scheme (WA) – Philip Ward, the owner of a Spanish-language interpreting business, has pled guilty to three counts of first-degree theft in a scheme that netted them...

Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter (11/28/2013) – Pot Dispensary Disguised As Vitamin Store Shut Down For Fraud

Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter – November 28, 2013 Pot Dispensary Disguised As Vitamin Store Shut Down For Fraud (CA) – Billy Kim, the owner of Natural Health & Solutions, has pled guilty to submitting fraudulent government documents, workers’ compensation fraud, and unemployment...

Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter (12/5/2013) – Owner of Farm Labor Contracting Company Heading To Prison While Owing Millions of Dollars

Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter – December 5, 2013 Owner of Farm Labor Contracting Company Heading To Prison While Owing Millions of Dollars (CA) – Richard Escamilla Jr., the owner of ROC Harvesting, EC Labor, EC Labor Inc., and ES Labor, a series of farm labor contracting companies, will...

California: IBR Not Applicable to Pre-1/1/13 Medical Billing Disputes

The 4th District Court of Appeal has issued a decision raised to it on a question on the “retroactive” application of the Independent Bill Review provisions of SB 863 and whether the legislature intended to remove from the W.C.A.B. jurisdiction to address bill disputes that existed prior...