Top 7 Takeaways
COO & CFO
Oct. 24-25, 2013
New York, NY
1. Metrics Are Driving Decisions
Although firm leaders agree industry benchmarks provide
guidance, it is understood that every firm is inherently different.
Therefore, the sharing of best practices as proven by measureable
data is leading decision making.
Increasingly, firm leaders at the Forum discussed how collecting
their own metrics via dashboards, etc. have driven decisions
matters ranging from matter process to secretary workflow.
2. Globalization Needs to be
Because new revenues are increasingly becoming zerosum, law firms need some sort of globalization strategy.
Partnerships can provide success here and noninternational firms need to be aware of international firms
3. The Biggest Gains are in
Regardless of whether the administrative office is outsourced
or not, there are many processes that can be improved.
Workflow and process efficiency is hindered by various factors
such as IT rejection of the cloud or partner driven culture.
However, the savings are there and they are real.
4. AFAs & Innovative Pricing
Since 2007, AFAs and innovative pricing strategies have increased
and are here to stay.
This requires measures such as developing accounting principles or
approval processes for transactions and billing.
Additionally, training in project management skills and even hiring
PM professionals is highly recommended across the industry.
5. Clients Driving
Clients desiring transparency on rates and
margins have increasingly switched to
electronic billing. However, this has brought
new opportunities for billing disputes.
Training attorneys and staff in eBilling is
essential to avoiding the pitfalls in client
6. COOs & CFOs Will Be More
After 2007, CFOs have more accounting responsibilities. Profitability
is no longer taboo and is proactively addressed with the c-level.
Changes in client billing have created roles for the CFO and finance
department. Overall, the finance component of law firms have
become more analytical and highly skilled regarding client economics.
7. “Lean” Delivery of Legal Services
Two schools of thought apply here: firms that believe “lean” operations and legal
service delivery creates value across the board (see Seyfarth) and firms that
believe this model only serves certain practices.
The extreme rigor of “lean” methodology may dissuade some firms from all-in
commitment and may lead to future hybrid models.