Remember when alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) came onto the scene circa 2012? The crash of 2008 prompted clients to raise their voices and demand that law firms become more transparent in billing practices.
As large law firms began to address the issue, partners grappled with creative ways to make matter management more efficient. Clients sought the firms’ reduced reliance and adherence on 10-minute incremental billing, while firms attempted to heed their demands without jeopardizing a solid revenue stream.
We can thank the onset and here-to-stay AFAs for one thing in particular: enhanced client/law firm collaboration to solve an issue that has affected the bottom lines of both clients and law firms.
Get to Know Thomson Reuters Contract Express™
Contract Express® is a Thomson Reuters, Web-based enterprise solution that automates legal document assembly. Trusted by the world’s leading law firms and corporations, Contract Express allows users to:
• Automate creation of their preferred legal documents
• Reduce and eliminate delays, costs, bottlenecks
• Cut the risks and errors of manual drafting
The result is faster, more efficient, and compliant legal services and products with streamlined workflow.
Law firms are under consistent pressure from clients to reduce costs associated with document drafting. The common thread between AFAs and Contract Express is client collaboration.
When was the last time you considered a software solution like Contract Express to enable a discussion around alternative fee arrangements? Here’s how we make that leap.
Enhanced Client Collaboration
One of the U.S. patents earned by Contract Express developers involved the questionnaire that drives the software’s engine. It launches the contract and document assembly process. When firms implement Contract Express within client extranets, it allows clients to get involved with initial collection of details to commence the build of their legal document.
Reduce Costs, Errors
When clients are given the opportunity to participate in their legal work, they:
• Contribute to a reduction in their attorney’s billable time
• Eliminate errors in the finer details that only a client knows at the onset of a matter
The firm benefits as well:
• The legal team is freed to engage in more value-add services and negotiations
• There’s greater efficiency, improved workflow and productivity throughout the firm
This type of collaboration strengthens relationships and contributes to engaged and satisfied clients. It also becomes a form of alternative fee arrangement. When partners can track this type of cost savings for the client along with satisfied customers, Contract Express becomes a win-win for the law firm and customer service.
Scaling Contract Express to Benefit the Entire Firm
Once law firms are comfortable utilizing Contract Express in one practice area, managing partners can consider scaling Contract Express throughout the rest of the firm for added value. With minimal effort, Contract Express can be used within other practice groups for their document automation. Firm administrators can also tap into Contract Express to manage standard documents. The uses are endless, and with some creative thinking, law firms can quickly streamline creation of a multitude of documents.
New Business Engine?
Law firms also have an opportunity to explore alternative ways of earning new business. Contract Express can be used to engage prospects on a law fi rm’s website. This strategy helps
firms automate simple contracts while making them available on the fi rm’s site as a complementary offer to prospects. When a guest browses the fi rm’s website and interacts with a free document driven by Contract Express, the law firm then has an opportunity to capture a prospect’s contact information and begin building a relationship.
Attorneys still grappling with how to create clever AFAs can stop the guesswork by considering Contract Express as a way to simplify the drafting process and collaborate with clients. Law firms that already subscribe know the value it brings.