April 14, 2011
On Wednesday, May 4th, Matthew Sullivan will participate in a panel entitled, “Getting Paid: How to Effectively Market Your Practice with Conventional & Alternative Fee Agreements.” During the midday program, to be held at the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Boston headquarters, a panel of practitioners will outline the fundamentals of fee agreements, billing and collection; the integration of alternative fee agreements into a practice, and the ethical issues in fee agreements, billing and collections.
In addition to Matthew Sullivan from Red Bridge Strategy, the panelists will include Ronald A. Witmer of Witmer, Karp, Warner & Ryan LLP, and Jeffrey D. Woolf of the Office of the Bar Counsel (MA), and will be chaired by Stephen Seckler of Seckler Legal Coaching. The discussion will focus on the how billing practices can serve as a marketing tool while simultaneously decreasing the chances of client fee disputes. For more information, or to register, click here.
February 18, 2011
In the Law Practice Management section of the February 2011 issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, I have written How to Get Past Hourly Billing, and Maintain a Profitable Practice (page 21) which outlines some techniques to implement alternative fee agreements. The article is derived from a workshop that Red Bridge Strategy has developed to help clients understand and implement fixed fee billing. If your firm is interested in hosting a Fixed Fee Arrangements workshop, please contact me for details.
September 11, 2010
Recently, I posted A Financial Model for Law Firms to Embrace Alternative Fees & LPO, wherein I outlined a complex model that would allow some law firms to incorporate offerings from LPO vendors into fixed price law firm offerings. There are, however, less complex models that can incorporate LPO services into fixed price legal services, and they are in use today. As outlined below, two pioneering LPO firms, LawScribe and SDD Global Solutions, already provide services that can easily be incorporated into fixed price offerings. LawScribe provides ongoing support to law firms offering trusts and wills, and SDD Global has provided overnight drafting services to a firm in connection with an acquisition.
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July 16, 2010
In the July 5, 2010 issue of Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly I co-authored Get Beyond Hourly Billing and Into The New Decade with tips on how to implement alternative fee agreements. In the article, Steve Seckler and I discuss how fixed fee arrangements can be implemented without dramatically undercutting profitability. The article is derived from a workshop that Red Bridge Strategy has developed and presented to understand and implement fixed fee billing. If your firm is interested in hosting a Fixed Fee Arrangements workshop, please contact me for details.
June 17, 2010
In Boston on Tuesday (June 15) Matthew Sullivan presented, “Incorporating Fixed Fee Billing into Your Law Practice.” The session, presented with Steve Seckler of Seckler Legal Coaching and sponsored by the Beck Bode Group of Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, outlined the mechanics and considerations of moving from hourly billing to fixed fee arrangements.
The topics included
- What clients want from fixed fees
- How fixed fees can help build your practice
- Understanding the costs of creating legal advice
- Costs of legal tasks
- Resource utilization
- Planning a project before the work begins
- Managing unexpected contingencies
According to one participant, the event was “an excellent and thought-provoking presentation.”
Presentation materials are available by e-mail from Matthew Sullivan.
If you are interested in future events from Red Bridge Strategy, please join our mailing list.
June 13, 2010
In a recent post (LPO is a Distinct Legal Services Industry – Porter’s Five Forces), I outlined how LPO firms have emerged as a new class of competitors, or partial substitutes, for some services offered by law firms. I agreed with Hildebrandt’s Kristin Stark that many law firms could be providing clients with superior value and service by incorporating lower cost discovery review into their services.
Law firms should consider structuring LPO vendor services into fixed-priced, litigation offerings. Firms should be able to offer lower prices while maintaining profits in return for vetting and managing LPO vendors and providing integrated litigation management. Clients would receive lower, predictable prices and a single point of accountability for litigation matters. LPO vendors would get more business and have the opportunity to work with clients and law firms to continuously improve processes and lower costs for all parties. The two biggest obstacles to law firms incorporating lower cost discovery services are financial and ethical. In this post I will outline a viable financial model, and a subsequent post (The Ethical Challenges for Law Firms to Embrace Alternative Fees & LPO) will highlight some of the significant ethical challenges.
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