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Online Legal Service Conference - Sydney 2014

I recently presented at this conference held in Sydney. The day before I had been at a briefing by MobileIron on their security technologies for Mobile devices. It was interesting to hear both sides of the mobile security argument.

I am here today as both an observer and a participant in global legal services. I am the CEO of Timeframe a consulting firm based in both the USA and Australia.

My story used to be an exception in law, someone trying to bridge two very different cultures, this is no longer the case.

So the US, UK and Australia. Who is leading? All of them! It depends on the question.

I was in Perth earlier. One of the cities that we are told missed the GFC, and yet it is the most expensive city in the world outside Scandinavia to live in. Moody's recently reported Perth has the postcode with the nation's highest mortgage delinquency rate. And so we have a tale of two economies.

A similar story is unfolding for legal services practitioners. Major clients are no longer restricted to working with a select few firms, they have a broader field they are now looking beyond the firm, directly to individuals.

So what does this development mean for the traditional appetite for growth through lateral hiring? I fear it has more risks for the firms than it does for individuals. If I can easily find my attorney through these means external to the firm then is my retention by the firm looking shaky?

No remember that these tools are nothing new outside of the legal sector. The medical and other professions have had this onslaught of open information for some time.

I propose it will lead to a two speed economy the rich getting richer and poor lawyers getting poorer.

It is one thing to receive a bad finding by your peers it is another for everyone to be aware of it for the rest of your professional life.

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Billing quick wins

Billing quick wins
How you bill your clients makes a big difference to cash flow. The way you bill has everything to do with how payment will be made. Are you giving your clients an easy excuse to not pay you?


1. State the payment terms
Firms traditionally offer credit easily. Whilst new clients are accepted through a risk analysis process the voice of the Credit Controller is not heard enough. These processes should identify potential risks through references to available searches and past history including the firm’s own records.

Before you offer credit make sure you agree and negotiate the terms of payment. You do not have to accept the 30 days from the end of the month the invoice was received. You are allowed to ask for a shorter term. What is important is that the client understands the terms and agrees to these terms before you start the matter. As a reminder, always ensure that the payment terms are listed on every bill. State the actual due date which is more effective than just…