Treat clients’ Money as if it were your own -Brenda Edwards
JW Way Fundamental #2: Treat clients' Money as if it were your own
"Think about the cost of representation. Avoid expenses that don't have a demonstrable benefit to the client."
Most of us have experienced purchasing something advertised at one price and finding out it was a very different and more expensive price when we complete the purchase. A classic example is purchasing an airline ticket from Allegiant Airlines. While the initial price is very low, there are additional fees for everything including carry-on bags, pet in cabin fees, electronic carrier usage charge, seat assignments, and the list continues on. The price for the ticket may increase by 20%, 30% or even more. We do not want our clients to experience receiving an invoice from us that feels like they were “+++” with add-on time or charges.
Our corporate clients are already taking steps to control their legal costs. These steps include use of alternative service providers for skip tracing, initial document review and legal research. They also control costs by telling their law firms how much they can charge for a certain legal service and even dictate who (by type of timekeeper) can bill for it. They use third party companies to review legal invoices to lower the cost even further for the corporate client. Finally, they are pushing their law firms to implement technology driven process improvements to further lower their legal costs.
What can we do? Pay attention to the details. Look for efficiency in areas that you are responsible for. Review the billing draft and your time record to see if we are telling complete and concise story to the client OR if a corporate client, that we are meeting their billing guidelines. Investigate if technology can be used to control and lower client costs. If it is a large cost expense, check with more than one vendor before purchasing on the client’s behalf.
Being cognizant of the cost of legal representation has been a key differentiator of Jaburg Wilk for several years and one that is vital to our continued success.
About the Author: Brenda Edwards is the Executive Director of Jaburg Wilk where she is responsible for operations of the firm. She is a frequent author on management topics.