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How do your lawyers price their work?

Posted by Gene Turner on 14-Nov-2019 18:21:00

[Originally posted 9 May 2017. Updated 14 November 2019].

A number of my other blog posts have suggested clients should look at how their lawyers work and ask questions, like what systems do they have? What training do they do to ensure they provide the best levels of service? 

This time I want to look at the related topic of pricing.  I say related topic, because the pricing options a law firm can offer will depend heavily on the systems they have.  A firm that has not invested in good systems is unlikely to be able to offer transparent and certain pricing. 

Perhaps reflecting this lack of investment in systems, many lawyers still use hourly rate billing and loose estimates of cost based on time that will be spent (e.g. $3,000 to $5,000...), which is inherently unsatisfactory for clients as it contains little incentive to be efficient and can often lead to nasty bill shocks (e.g. $7,000) at the end of the matter when the lawyer advises that it took longer than they thought it would.

To try and get good value, clients often focus on discounts to the hourly rate, which does not solve the problem if the number of hours is open ended. The firm could just throw 5 people onto a simple job

Pricing in this way can be a complete finger in the air, where not only would different lawyers within a firm be likely to charge different amounts for the same piece of work, but the same lawyer could charge different amounts on a different day.  Isn't that bizarre? 

Firms that can give greater clarity and certainty on pricing - while still giving good outcomes and not taking shortcuts - should be rewarded by clients. But, for that to happen, clients have to look beyond hourly rates and ask the right questions.  

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Topics: Document Automation, In-House Legal, Document Assembly, legal practice

The hawks helping lawyers automate legal documents

Posted by Gene Turner on 05-Jul-2019 19:24:37

 

I was interviewed for LawTalk 930 on what LawHawk has been up to, and how we are going. 

You can read the full article here, and below. 

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Topics: Practise of Law, Future of Law, Document Automation, Document Assembly, legal practice, Law Firm Management

Legal tech in New Zealand: Where is the disruption?

Posted by Gene Turner on 05-Jul-2019 18:02:13

 

I was interviewed for LawTalk 930 on what impact legal tech is actually having on the New Zealand legal market.  

You can read the full article here, and below. 

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Topics: Practise of Law, Future of Law, Document Automation, Document Assembly, legal practice, Law Firm Management

Breaks Legislation – Do Employees Have to Take Breaks?

Posted by Jaesen Sumner on 17-May-2019 15:07:53

 

The law regarding break allowances for employees has recently changed.

 The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 has amended the Employment Relations Act 2000 to state that:

 “an employee is entitled to, and the employee’s employer must provide the employee with, rest breaks and meal breaks”.

Are you up to speed with the new changes and what they require?

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Topics: Document Automation, Employment Agreements, Online Employment Agreements

Ford Sumner - The Wellington Law Firm to Watch

Posted by Gene Turner on 06-Nov-2018 18:24:48

Will the future of law belong to large or small firms?  It’s a debate that is ongoing.  

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Topics: Practise of Law, Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, legal practice, Law Firm Management, New Zealand Legal Jobs

No. 8 Wire – undeniably useful, but is it still good enough?

Posted by Allen Li on 24-May-2018 09:46:31

ILANZ 2018 was another hugely energising and enjoyable event.  Thank you to everyone involved in organising it!

The official theme of this year’s ILANZ was “No 8 wire”, as a nod to our in-house lawyers' ingenuity and ability to innovate with limited resources.  Last year, I used this term in my blog to describe some of the cobbled-together solutions delegates were using – it was a term of endearment.  This year, I'm a little less certain we should be celebrating this. 

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Topics: Practise of Law, Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal

What might happen for New Zealand legal services and lawyers?

Posted by Gene Turner on 20-May-2018 08:09:00

 

I was interviewed for LawTalk 916 on what the future might hold for New Zealand legal services and lawyers. 

The interview also captured the thoughts of Michael Smyth, Claudia King, Simon Tupman and Andrew King. 

You can read the full article here, and the parts of the interview that relate to me are set out below. 

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Topics: Practise of Law, Future of Law, Document Automation, Document Assembly, legal practice, Law Firm Management

More houses, more contracts... What the Housing NZ legal team did

Posted by Gene Turner on 14-May-2018 19:18:56

It was great to see our customer Housing New Zealand profiled in LawTalk 917 for their success in working with us on document automation. 

You can read the article on the Law Society website here, and the full text is set out below. 

If you would like to discuss how document automation could provide similar benefits for you, please get in touch 

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Topics: Future of Law, Document Automation, In-House Legal, Document Assembly

How to get an exciting new legal job in 2018

Posted by Gene Turner on 17-Jan-2018 12:17:05

Excited woman raising her arms while working on her laptop in her office.jpeg 

For many people, January is a time of reflection and new year resolutions to make a change.  Having had a decent break, many people recognise that they are not happy in their current situation and resolve to get a new job.

This article contains some suggestions on how to get the best new legal job for your circumstances.

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Topics: Practise of Law, Document Automation, Legal Technology, New Zealand Legal Jobs

One year as a LawHawk!

Posted by Allen Li on 20-Nov-2017 20:26:29

It’s been a year since I joined LawHawk, and it still feels so fresh and exciting.  It’s probably a bit naïve / premature to reflect so soon, but heck, I’m on holiday!  The Sydney sun, sea and sand has given me a great opportunity to stop, and think. 

So what's happened?!

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Topics: Practise of Law, Document Automation, Legal Technology, Document Assembly

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