Corporate legal departments are always juggling a long list of tasks, often causing more administrative ones to sit on the back burner. Optimizing billing and compliance is one such undertaking—one that should be a top priority. But while over 80 percent of legal departments provide billing guidelines to their law firms, only 62 percent regularly enforce them.
Creating strong and effective billing guidelines and enforcing them has numerous benefits. So why are many legal teams failing to do so?
For starters, lawyers tend to be heavily tied to tradition. They see billing guidelines as administrative work outside their area of expertise, preferring to bring value through their knowledge of the law. Plus, they might feel uncomfortable discussing or enforcing compliance with the outside counsel they have good, longstanding relationships with, as it may feel a bit like rocking the boat. And, of course, improving guidelines and ensuring compliance takes time, commitment, and change management, both internally and externally.
The benefits of strong and effective billing guidelines clearly outweigh these challenges, though. Indeed, as a corporate attorney, you can’t afford to wait to get your billing guidelines in order.
Compliance is crucial—start now!
Monitoring for compliance is an ongoing job that involves tracking invoices and carefully reviewing them. The cleaner, clearer, and more accurate invoices are, the greater visibility you have into what’s being billed and whether it’s reasonable. Without monitoring compliance, you won’t be able to tell your managers that the firm you’ve hired is operating efficiently or effectively.
In Wolters Kluwer’s latest eBook, Your guide to improving legal billing guidelines and compliance, we outline the benefits of establishing good bill review guidelines and practices—and explain what steps your corporate legal department must take to reap them. Because when it comes to adding value, delivering better outcomes, and establishing stronger relationships with outside counsel, nothing beats having clear and strong guidelines for compliance.
In this eBook, we cover:
- What makes well-crafted billing guidelines
- Benchmarking your guidelines against your peers
- The value you can derive from improving your billing compliance
- The three components to successfully managing outside counsel billing compliance
- Examples of strategic goals that will help you measure success
We also address how billing guideline compliance can offer visibility into everything from budgeting to staffing. By emphasizing compliance, you’ll be able to better understand who’s working on your legal matters, how much you’re spending on those matters, and if your firms are meeting your expectations.
Improve your guidelines today
Once again, it’s not easy to improve billing guidelines and compliance. It takes time to initially review the process, time to research industry standards, and time to review it annually. But the pay-off is undoubtedly worth it. Compliance monitoring does more than just ensure visibility and clean invoices, too. It also is a process that helps communicate your expectations, ensure outside counsel understands them, and make certain they are the right firm for the job.
Download the eBook today to learn more.