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Three innovations from non-US firms about billing and fees

You might want to think about these steps taken by two UK firms and an Italian firm, as reprted in the Financial Times, Innovative Lawyers 2009 at 37.

Linklaters has created a “global pricing function.” For the huge UK firm, “pricing professionals within its marketing department advise and implement pricing strategy and provide a pricing ‘centre of excellence,’ including guides and templates.” Legal departments that retain Linklaters might be able to find out more about alternative fee arrangements, for example, if they can draw on the collective intelligence of the pricing group.

Berwin Leighton Paisner in the UK set up a loyalty scheme whereby clients accrue notional points, like frequent flyer points, as they spend more. “Points can be spent on secondments or free access to information systems.” Over time, I predict, such frequent buyer benefits will become standard offerings for free.

Portalano Colella Vavallo in Italy “updates clients every 24 hours.” As I have written, I do not think such minute-by-minute cost or status data has value to legal departments, but some may like the ability to keep close tabs and Twitter is driving us toward instant everything in short bursts.