Matthew Sullivan to Participate in Massachusetts Bar Association Discussion on Law Practice Marketing Using Alternative Fee Agreements

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.


Fixed Fee Billing Tips in Massachusetts Lawyers Journal

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.


More on Fixed Prices and LPO

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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Cobra Legal Solutions Competes with Least Cost Pricing Plan

July 21, 2010

Cobra Legal Solutions LLC is a Legal Process Outsourcing (“LPO”) vendor with offices in New York and a delivery center in Chennai, India.  Cobra offers what it calls “Least Cost Pricing” for its document review projects.  For each document review project, clients are quoted an hourly rate, a per document rate, and a per gigabyte (GB) rate.  The price that Cobra ultimately invoices the client is determined by whichever rate produces the lowest total cost.  Global Legal recently spoke to two Cobra clients – a Fortune 100 technology provider and a 10 lawyer boutique litigation firm in Chicago, IL – to evaluate the merits of Least Cost Pricing.

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Red Bridge Principal Authors Article on Fixed Fee Billing in Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly

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.


Red Bridge Strategy Presents “Fixed Fee Billing for Lawyers”

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.


A Financial Model for Law Firms to Embrace Alternative Fees & LPO

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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