What if I were to tell you that I would pay you $10 for every minute it takes you to read this blog post? You may take a little more time to read each word to reach the maximum probable value that would benefit you. Now, what if I told you that I would not be keeping track of the time while you read? Instead, you and I will discuss how long it took you after the fact. You may come back to me after you have finished, round up slightly so as not to raise a flag of skepticism on my part, and we would come to an eventual agreement on your final pay.
When it comes to farming out legal matters to outside counsel, the process is not far from the scenario above. Often, there is a market value that an in-house counsel legal department understands from an outside counsel law firm. Time, however, is where we often find some discrepancies. Particularly when timekeepers book all of their time at the end of the month – a practice known as “cramming”- versus the moment they clock in and out of a matter.
Today’s client story comes from a large global oil and gas company. Several years ago, our client placed their legal spend analytics under the microscope and discovered that a firm had been overbilling millions of dollars over the course of several years through cramming, block billing, and rate manipulation.
To ease that pain, our client chose Mitratech’s Viewabill to provide a clear way to track, understand, and adjust legal spend in real-time while building stronger relationships with their law firms. Additionally, our client enjoyed the easy dashboard access to view real-time data from their Timekeeper systems and the ability for their in-house counsel to leverage an intuitive system that made the difference in millions of dollars.
Obviously saving outside counsel legal spend benefits the corporate in-house legal department, but this actually helps the outside counsel law firm as well. In fact, in this instance, the Timekeeper suggested the implementation of Viewabill. As mentioned by another Viewabill client, “the concept of Viewabill is a tool that’s going to help firms get paid more, not less. If I’m able to get more information, more accrual data, and I can put that into a forecast, I can then budget for more. I can pay my firms more.”
Not only does Viewabill strengthen corporate and law firm relationships, but using it in conjunction with matter and spend management allows for a 360° view of the legal department’s workload. Better yet, last week we announced it integrates with eCounsel, allowing those clients to significantly drive legal spend savings.