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  • Technorati Profile Creative Commons License This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    « Voting software and its many uses by law departments | Main | The cottage industry (other than law firms) doing business with law departments »

    To tackle law firm billing, grasp the firm’s compensation system

    Recent research has found that “lawyer compensation and client billing practices are inextricably connected.”  This quote from a brief summary of a paper presented by Huseyin Leblebici (Univ. of Illinois, Champaign Urbana) at a 2003 conference run by the Clifford Chance Centre for the Management of Professional Services Firms (Said Business School, Oxford – www.sbs.ox.ac.uk), points us to a little discussed tactic.

    If you want to change the billing culture of one of your law firms, you must grapple with the way the firm compensates its partners and associates.  I have not heard of a law department that peered this far into the bowels of billing (although I know of a pharmaceutical company that toyed with limiting the profit margin of its primary law firms), but the quest makes sense.  If, for example, the distribution of a partner depends mostly on individual fees collected, a law department stands little chance of setting up fixed fee arrangements with that partner, for the reason that they emphasize profitability, not profligacy.

    Posted on April 18, 2005 at 09:39 PM in Outside Counsel | Permalink

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