5. Set billing guidelines and enforce negotiated rates
Inefficient processes and lack of enforced negotiated rates are among the major contributing factors to excessive legal costs. By setting out billing guidelines and enforcing negotiated rates, you have a structured overview and your payment amounts remain consistent. This way, if there are deviations (lines that are non-compliant with the set guidelines or rates that are different to what you agreed to) you can easily identify and correct them. By setting billing guidelines and enforcing negotiated rates, you can reduce invoice errors, avoid paying charges that are different to the initial agreement and have cost savings (i.e. volume discounts and alternative fee arrangements). By streamlining invoice processes, you reduce the time spent processing and approving invoices and you can even take the advantage of early pay discounts.
6. Optimise firm selection
When you manage your costs in a structured manner, you have a better overview of the costs and the law firms you work with. Through visibility and reporting, you can make assessment and optimise firm selection. This way, you look at the value delivered rather than just the cost incurred.
7. Conduct audits
When all information related to legal costs are centralised and updated in real-time, you can conduct audits to approve, review, adjust or reject costs at any time. Therefore, the legal department will work with the most recent information with an archive on the side. Because the actual invoice documents are stored in the same place as well, you can easily check for accuracy when needed. This also makes reporting much quicker and accurate, thereby making it easier to conduct audits and improve cost issues as you grow.
In conclusion, by following these tips for managing legal costs you can transform legal department into a true value-centre, with better control over and ability to reduce legal costs.