Sterling Analytics has delivered significant value to clients through a proprietary approach to reducing legal expenses. Although every client situation is different, our methodology consistently involves an empirical assessment of a client’s legal expenses, benchmarking against industry best-practices, and implementation of strategies to enforce cost controls.
Our 4-step process for reducing legal fees and expenses is detailed below. Visit our fee drivers pages for additional information about common billing practices that cause high legal costs.
- Our Approach
How much is your company overpaying for legal services?
What specific steps should you take to reduce legal expenses?
What changes need to be made to realize your savings?
How do you prevent backsliding?
Select a Step to Learn More
- 1. Diagnosis
We perform a thorough audit of your past bills and compare these results to industry best practices to determine how much your company has been overpaying for legal services.
Our team of trained legal professionals have analyzed over $300 million of law firm invoices. By integrating professional judgement with technology, we are able to identify many more improper charges than software packages can on their own. Our audit process is fair, independent, cost effective and maintains attorney-client privilege.
Best Practice Benchmarking
Our proprietary database of legal bills allows us to compare your company's legal fees to industry averages and best practices. This unique data allows you to understand how much you can realistically save on legal expenses.
- 2. Prescription
We work closely with your General Counsel office to build an appropriate plan for change using multiple cost-reduction strategies, such as:
- Overhaul of Billing Guidelines - The use of clear and enforceable external counsel Guidelines contractually establishes the "rules of engagement" that govern how law firms work for your company and bill their time.
- Enhanced Monitoring Protocols - Rigorous eBilling systems and line-by-line auditing practices ensure outside firms comply with your company's Guidelines.
- Convergence - Consolidating legal spend among fewer firms can increase your relevance to those firms and improve compliance with billing Guidelines.
- Budgets - Requiring firms to commit to budgets on retained matters is proven to reduce overall billings, while enhancing the ability of eBilling systems to monitor compliance.
- Alternative Fee Arrangements - Engaging firms under fixed fee or contingency arrangements rather than traditional hourly billing can dramatically reduce legal costs.
- 3. Implementation
After building consensus around a specific cost reduction plan, we will guide you through a process to implement change. We understand many General Counsel offices need our assistance to develop enhanced billing Guidelines, install eBilling systems, or run law firm RFPs. We work through the entire process alongside our clients, handling tasks such as:
- Developing Guidelines - Rewriting your company's external counsel Guidelines using models that have consistently been effective, and incorporating language that targets patterns of improper charges we find in your bills.
- Enhancing eBilling Systems - Working with your existing software to tighten filters and align them with the rules in your Guidelines, and running test bills with deliberate violation patterns through your system to make sure improper charges are caught.
- Securing Reimbursements - Negotiating with law firms to obtain fee reductions or reimbursements of improper charges. Our impartial bill audit provides specific and credible evidence of infringements, which compels firms to remedy violations.
- 4. Monitoring
Vigilant cost reduction programs continue beyond the implementation stage and require ongoing monitoring, to enforce adherence to negotiated rates, contractual agreements and billing protocols, and to remain current with industry benchmarks and best practices.
We teach clients spot audit bills and test eBilling systems to ensure improper chargers are caught. Enhanced Guidelines and controls are only effective if properly maintained.
We perform ongoing monitoring and periodic bill audits to ensure clients are not being overcharged. Many General Counsel offices lack resources to perform such activities and rely on our assistance.
Once you reach the Monitoring stage, legal firms will recognize that your company no longer tolerates excessive charges and has precise systems that will catch violations. Your company will have established an effective deterrent to improper billing practices.
Please contact us to find out how we can help your company reduce legal expenses.
30 Minute Assessment