Legal Billing Considerations for Better Practices
Historically, it was much too labor intensive and time intensive for in-house counsel to be able to run reports to analyze proper billing practices. However, with new innovative solutions for legal management systems, more data is easily accessible for these professionals. In order to reduce Lawyer Professional Liability, proper billing practices are paramount.
Inside Counsel spoke with Bill Sowinski, Director of Decision Support Services at ELM Solutions, who states that in house counsel can use matter management software to analyze billing trends in order to make data-driven business decisions. In turn, legal expenses can be abridged and contribute to an improved bottom line for the business.
The two most common issues with legal billing are improper billing and inefficient billing. These can lead to excess expenses, increased overhead costs, and unnecessary work performed. Inside Counsel states that high fees and questionable billing practices are a concern for many reasons including: because they are a waste of money, they can derail projected costs, undermining the credibility of the legal department and; they foster a culture of sloppiness.
“Consistent, careful billing practices force law firm personnel to identify and focus on the most essential elements of any matter, which leads to a better result. And, careful practices generate a culture of respect for clients and the practice of law,” states Sowinski.
To combat this issue, billing software should be implemented, if possible, and practices should be examined in order to ensure accuracy and which sector required more disciplinary action.
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