PAYING OFF - What if I told you that dollar figure you put on your client invoices could become… real money? As Law.com’s Andrew Maloney reports, the just-released 2022 Citi Hildebrandt Client Advisory shows that law firms’ focus on billing and collections, which increased in 2020 with the onset of COVID-19, helped boost inventory by 12.4% throughout the Am Law 200 this year. As a result, it’s likely to remain an emphasis for lawyers going forward. Brad Hildebrandt, founder of Hildebrandt Consulting and a co-author of the client advisory report, said firms have always aspired to improve billing hygiene, but the rise of remote work probably helped them accomplish that goal, as lawyers and employees more broadly may have been more intentional about recording time while away from the office. “I think that’s probably going to continue,” Hildebrandt said.
MIDSIZE MEGAMATTER MARAUDERS - While Big Law’s busy underestimating the threat of their small and midsize competitors, those firms are apparently busy stealing significant work. That’s according to a new report from Wolters Kluwer’s LegalView Insights. After analyzing $150 billion in law firm invoices from the company’s e-billing tools, spanning 2015 to 2020, director of legal operations and industry insights Nathan Cemenska found that nearly 28% of “megamatters”—those matters that generate more than $1 million in legal spend—went to small and midsize law firms, Law.com’s Dan Roe reports. By comparison, 59% of megamatters went to the Am Law 100, with the 20 top firms taking 27% of megamatters. The Am Law Second Hundred took just 6% of megamatters, while U.K.-based Big Law firms took 3.7% and alternative legal service providers took 2.2%.For Cemenska, who formerly worked on legal operations in corporate legal departments, megamatters represent the biggest opportunities for client cost savings. “There’s this narrative that small- and medium-sized law firms are fine to use on small matters, but you can’t have them do anything serious because they’re going to mess it up,” Cemenska said in an interview. “If that were true, how come 28% of spending over $1 million is going to small and midsize law firms outside the Am Law 200?”
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