Want to learn more about Budgeting and Forecasting? Participate at TyMetrix’ peer-to-peer networking event Legal Analytics LegalVIEW® Forum. Discuss today’s most pressing legal issues and develop unique value-based best practices with your colleagues from law firms and legal departments:
Opening TED-Style Discussion: Emerging Trends in Buying Legal Services—Law firms and corporate law departments will collaboratively examine key elements and challenges that arise when budgeting and forecasting the business of law. The group will discuss what current tools that exist to improve planning and the factors that must be considered, such as average matter durations, total costa, rates, and staffing allocations for matters by timekeeper role, phase, task, and geography.
Workshop Collaboration: Improving the Certainty of Budgeting and Forecasting—Hear and discuss new ways corporate law departments and law firms can improve the certainty of budgeting and forecasting in case study exercise with peers. Groups will examine a real-life legal challenge and develop a proposal that is acceptable to both the firm and the corporation.
Workshop Results & Discussion: Scope, Baseline, Benchmark, Value—Upon conclusion of the group exercise, there will be a collective presentation of the workshop findings mapped to four defined pillars—Scope, Baseline, Benchmark, Value—that provide a blueprint for better budgeting and forecasting for both law firms and corporations.
Cost pressures and price competition among law firms have affected fee negotiations with corporate clients. Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFA) are growing popular as the parties move away from straight hourly billing and toward a value-based approach that clients increasingly demand.
Despite their advantages, companies have a number of criticisms of AFAs. Some say they are only a slight improvement on hourly billing, since law firms use total hourly billing estimates as the starting point for negotiating the AFA. Clients also suspect that law firms see the AFAs as a way to repackage their traditional fee arrangements and offerings.
Law firms, too, have their reservations. Some suspect “AFA” is client-speak for a deep discount on hourly rates. They also complain that clients request AFAs but are unable or unwilling to compare the law firm’s response with other alternatives in the market.
Given these concerns, a successful AFA negotiation must address the information asymmetry between the company and the law firm. Using a model like the “Four Pillars For Providing Value” (SCOPE; BASELINE; BENCHMARK; VALUE) can help the parties reach a negotiated fee solution allying these suspicions and achieves many of their goals. The key to success is for each side to gain as much information as possible about market pricing.
Finding solutions for this challenge was the basis for a case study at the recent LegalVIEW Forum in New York. Private practice lawyers and law firm managers on the law firm side and in-house lawyers, legal procurement and legal operations professionals on the client side, worked on their approaches side-by-side. To register for the next LegalVIEW Forum (May 16 in DC) on the topic of “Improving the Certainty of Budgeting and Forecasting,” please click here.
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