Legal Business

Recent Posts

Year-end countdown: accounts receivable
Posted on 19 Sep 2011 by Norman Clark

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... Read More

The billable hour: How sick is it?
Posted on 8 Sep 2010 by Jim Hassett

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... Read More

More On The Reality of Alternative Fees
Posted on 19 May 2010 by Tom Kane

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... Read More

An Interesting Point in Support of AFAs
Posted on 3 Mar 2010 by Steven B. Levy

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... Read More

WIP your receivables into shape!
Posted on 1 Jun 2011 by Loretta Ruppert

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... Read More

In-house lawyers admit some resistance to alternative fee arrangements, but blast law firms, perhaps unfairly
Posted on 9 Apr 2010 by Rees W. Morrison

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... Read More

Three Innovations from Non-US Firms about Billing and Fees
Posted on 22 Feb 2010 by Rees W. Morrison

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... Read More

What every lawyer needs to know about project management, Part 1 of 5
Posted on 24 Mar 2010 by Jim Hassett

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... Read More

A Qwest for fair billing arrangements – four arguments against fixed fees
Posted on 22 Mar 2010 by Rees W. Morrison

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... Read More

What every lawyer needs to know about project management, Part 4 of 5
Posted on 14 Apr 2010 by Jim Hassett

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... Read More

Legal Project Management (Part 6) – Budget problems and solutions
Posted on 28 Apr 2010 by Jim Hassett

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... Read More

Risk collars: A great way to start offering alternative billing
Posted on 3 Mar 2010 by Jim Hassett

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... Read More

To determine the financial stability of a law firm, how far should legal departments inquire?
Posted on 25 Feb 2010 by Rees W. Morrison

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... Read More

The Revenue Impact of Alternative Fees (Part 1 of 2)
Posted on 2 Mar 2010 by Jim Hassett

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... Read More

The Revenue Impact of Alternative Fees (Part 2 of 2)
Posted on 2 Mar 2010 by Jim Hassett

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... Read More