“Lets make timesheets great again”
1. ‘Rush hour’ – trying to perform as many tasks that take fewer than 6 minutes as possible, in an hour, knowing that the practice management system deems everything to have lasted for at least 6 minutes. In some cases, this can mean 2 hours of chargeable time recorded in any 1-hour block.
2. ‘Nearest whole hour’ – under this methodology, any task that takes at least 30 minutes is rounded up to a full hour, again potentially delivering exponential returns.
3. ‘Parallel plains’ – this strategy involves charging one client for travel time while working on (& also charging) another client’s matter.
4. ‘Going for the $10,000 hour’ – this involves getting as many lawyers of a firm as possible into a project ‘strategy meeting’ – benchmark of ‘success’ is normally set at around $10k worth of time charged for the hour.
5. ‘Penalty provisions’ – where a client is not paying what the partner believes is otherwise fair, the ‘Donkey Principle’ of work performance is imposed – i.e everything takes as long as humanly possible.
6. ‘Who will ever notice’ – these are the clients of other partners who have matters where a few random entries for ‘reviewing’, ‘advice’ or ‘attendance’ will never be second guessed – a great technique when there is no ‘go to matter number’ otherwise easily to hand (see below).
7. ‘The go to matter number’ – used when a partner will try to have at least one matter where they can dump a few chargeable units at the end of any day, week or month (depending on when they actually get around to filling in their timesheet) to ensure they get to whatever targets they might otherwise miss.
(with much thanks to my friend and one of my partners-in-crime in killing timesheets Matthew Burgess )
Recently Verasage founder and The Soul Of Enterprise radio host Ron Baker, while visiting Australia for the highly successful ALPMA Summit, ran a Pricing Workshop in Brisbane for some clients of the unique Brisbane based legal provider Viewlegal.
So impressed was I with Dyan’s handiwork that, with the kind permission of the Burgess’, I wanted to share these visual notes with a wider audience. Here they are:
Those motivated professionals familiar with Ron’s work who have already embarked on the timeless journey will hopefully look at these as a reminder of why we do what we do.
For others, these visuals might give you some insight into what you are missing out on.
Why value pricing is the new billable hour
For professional services firms, value billing can deliver higher margins and more satisfied clients. But how do firms make the transition?
John Chisholm is a third-generation lawyer. In a career spanning 37 years, including 18 as a partner and five as chief executive, he has witnessed firsthand the innovations that have reshaped his industry – from the rise of legal process outsourcing to the advent of international mega-firms such as K&L Gates, which absorbed his former practice, Middletons, in 2013.
Yet amid all this change, one aspect of legal practice remains unchanged from his grandfather’s day: time-based billing, driven by the humble time sheet.
It isn’t only lawyers who continue to bill in the same way as in the 1950s. Many accountants, engineers, IT consultants and other professionals still charge by the hour, even if their time sheets are now on screen, rather than on paper.
So, why has time-based billing persisted in the professions for so long? And perhaps more importantly, could you create higher margins and more satisfied clients by doing things differently? [Read more…] about InTheBlack | Why value pricing is the new billable hour
‘Best CPD program I have attended at Leo Cussen to date’
‘Inspiring! Challenging! I will go away with lots to think about and ideas to help design my legal practice’
If you want to learn more about 20th century law firm BS such as realisation, utilisation, time recording, hourly rates & WIP write ons & offs, this workshop is definitely not for you (There are plenty of other programs around that will assist you to remain an undifferentiated Law Firm Of the Past).
But for those 21st century motivated professionals wishing to ‘test the waters’ of being a timeless law firm and exploring value based pricing David Wells, Managing Principal of Moores and Liz Harris, Costs Lawyer and Principal at Allocatur Consulting and I will once again be presenting a full day workshop at Leo Cussen Centre For Law. [Read more…] about Upcoming CPD Workshop: Practical solutions for implementing timeless pricing (27 October 2016)