Digital White Papers

December 2013: Business and Financial Management

publication of the International Legal Technology Association

Issue link: http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/231030

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CONDUIT… TOGETHER, WE CAN DO IT! following list of benefits he received through interactions with law firm pricing teams: •Compliance with billing requirements (especially bill formats and disbursement charge limitations) •Resolving bill payment issues, including missing bills, overpayments, underpayments, inhouse attorney concerns about too much billing •Making engagement letters consistent with guidelines and other expectations, especially about entity representation and potential conflicts •Working out alternative fee deals (including informal counseling on what works and doesn't work) •Preparing case and matter budgets, especially in major litigation with high costs running over many months It is essential to the client to have this role/team as an additional conduit for communicating and clarifying billing information. In addition, aside from the mechanics of the day-today relationship, the pricing professional can also play a vital part in getting new clients to engage with the firm. Clients have noted they see the firm has taken a vested interest in providing support around pricing, budgeting and alternative rate management through the formation of these roles. If firms are able to showcase this at the onset of a relationship, clients find this a significant added value. As a litigation finance administrator in the pharmaceutical industry attests: "It has been exceptionally rewarding to work with the [pricing director]. The [director] has contributed to assisting our organization achieve its goals and also ensures implementation of our company's guidelines. [The pricing director's] professionalism, organization, communication skills and leadership have helped to support the litigation finance team with our daily operations. In assisting the representation of our company, this individual achieves all our requests in a timely and gainful manner. Such requests include, but are not limited to, budgeting, accruals, timekeeper rates, minority reporting, invoicing and e-billing. The close collaboration between our positions has made the experience in my department both positive and memorable." THE CONDUIT… AND BEYOND The potential for the pricing function is quite large and can play an integral part in the business of law firms. As we begin to examine the benefits of supporting sophisticated pricing models, implementing technology and contributing to discussions of value, we will see this role evolve further. It is important to recognize the potential for using this role as a multifaceted conduit that can make a positive contribution to business decisions made within law firms. "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." — Warren Buffett Purvi Sanghvi is the Director of Strategic Pricing at Paul Hastings LLP. She oversees pricing management, develops and analyzes alternative fee arrangements, and creates budgets for complex client matters. Purvi has been involved in pricing roles since 2007 and has been on the forefront of shaping how the professionals in this role service the legal industry. Contact her at purvisanghvi@paulhastings.com.

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