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01st Jun 2018

Six steps to save on your legal bill

Businesses often try to keep their legal costs down by trying to get the lowest hourly rate.

Businesses often try to keep their legal bill down by trying to get the lowest hourly rate.

We think that’s too simplistic.

After all, if someone is twice as efficient as their colleagues and can do the same work in half the hours wouldn’t it make sense to pay them twice the hourly rate?

We think a more effective way to minimise costs is to eliminate waste. And one of the best ways to do that is to minimise touch points. A touchpoint happens when two or more fee earners engage with one another and simultaneously charge for their time. Usually as a matter is passed from partner to lawyer to paralegal and then back up again.

As the graphic below demonstrates touch points are costly…..

This is the effect of multiple fees on touchpoints

In other words, the cost to you of having all four levels of legal adviser in one meeting is a whopping $1,850 an hour, or $30 a minute!

So here’s how to eliminate unnecessary touch points in six steps.

  1. Ask for touch points to be minimised. You won’t get anything if you don’t ask. So the start of the relationship tell your lawyer that you want to limit the number of touch points and ask what they can do to help.
  2. Ask for only one person to work on your matter. Minimise the time wasted on handovers by having only your chosen lawyer handle all your work.
  3. Reduce the cost of meetings. Multiple people in meeting usually means multiple hourly rates. Ask to pay for one person, the most expensive.
  4. Ask for weekly bills. Ask for bills to be issued weekly. Then review them while the detail is still fresh in your mind.
  5. Only pay for people you know. Ask to have only people you know work on your files.
  6. Don’t pay for admin and pay for disbursements at cost. Ask the firm upfront how they treat staff’s admin costs and disbursements. Don’t let them make a profit from their costs.
Find out more about how Dovetail can help your business control its legal bill, or schedule a time to speak with Andrew Murdoch today.