Productivity | 2 min

How a firm of 25 eliminated 3-4 day delays on invoicing through their first transformation project

March 6, 2024

Chantal McNaught Legal Transformation

Chantal McNaught, Legal Practice Advisor & PhD Student, effectively navigating Law as a Profession and Law as a Business

Some of the most productive lawyers I have met spend the least hours in front of their computer. They have families, they have other passions and interests outside of the law, and they conduct their legal businesses extremely well. 

Unleashing targeted transformation in a firm of 25

When I asked a partner how they did it a couple of weeks ago, the answer is that it is simple, straightforward and takes an incredible amount of discipline.

This firm in particular has over 25 employees. They operate across multiple areas of law with both business and personal clients. They have three offices and a lot of their staff work hybrid. 

One of their first transformation projects after switching to LEAP was to look at their invoicing process and how it dovetails with their fee estimates process. All lawyers must comply with requirements around cost disclosures and reasonable billing.

How this firm did things differently is that they looked inwards, ‘inside the house’, so to speak, to understand why things were getting missed and where client satisfaction could be improved. 

After having a meeting with their Legal Practice Advisor, it turns out that they had 4 redundant steps to complete a fee estimate causing a bottleneck which was preventing invoices from going out in a timely fashion. 

In response to this, the firm immediately took steps to workshop with the relevant staff and together they put in place changes. 

Eliminating 3-4 day delays and increasing weekly Letters of Engagement

After a follow up conversation with the firm, they had increased the weekly number of Letters of Engagement (Cost Agreements) and invoices were no longer seeing a 3-to-4-day delay on being sent out.

The estimated value of time return on the firm was upwards of 3 hours per week. That time could then be used for value-add activities, rather than the internal grind. 

What stood out was understanding that the more time spent on non-value-add activities (ie the sorts of things clients perceive they shouldn’t have to pay their lawyers to do), the more the real billable rate is diluted by the non-billable work.

This happens on an individual level as well. Take your annual salary and calculate what your hourly rate would be on a 37.5-38 hour work week.

By adding more time to your workday, you would be diluting that hourly rate so that each hour has less cash value. 

By having an intense focus on eliminating as much non-billable and non-value-add activity as possible, this firm was able to raise the overall productivity. 

How can you implement transformation in your firm?

  •  Consider working with a Legal Practice Advisor 

  •  Interview key members of staff across the firm to understand your internal procedures, identify bottlenecks and potential inefficiencies

  •  Look to eliminate duplicate work or multiple redundant steps in a process

  •  Leverage available technology like LEAP to achieve transformative productivity

Join the 61,000+ practitioners who are already using LEAP

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