For any corporation working with law firms, reviewing and analyzing multiple legal bills can be a cumbersome process. The primary goal of any Legal Bill Review Process is to enable the corporation to take an informed call on legal spend, draw insights from spend analytics and also, possibly, gauge law firm performance vis-à-vis costs.

Overall, a robust LBR process will involve the following aspects:

a)    A thorough review of line item details in the invoice, in sync with what has been agreed in the contract.

b)    Identify whether a law firm has staffed a project correctly, with the right mix of Partners, Associates, Paralegals, Legal Secretaries, and Researchers.

c)     Identify patterns on legal spend, and ensure unnecessarily high costs are explained

d)    Publish easy-to-read reports related to legal spend and use analytics to enhance efficiency and reduce costs

e)    Review and compare invoices from multiple law firms

f)     Ensure all regulations are complied with, including tax and other standard billing practices

At Cenza, we offer a robust, well-planned LBR Process for our clients, keeping the above-mentioned aspects in mind. We also believe that corporations are better off by outsourcing LBR to a trusted partner, one who has the experience, expertise and the right set of people to run a seamless engagement with the client.

Additionally, LBR requires specific expertise in accounting, legal contract analysis and the ability to understand the workings of a law firm. Cenza’s years of experience in the areas of financial services, KYC, Legal Coding, and Contracts Review has come in handy in scaling up this capability internally.

In this post, we list out 6 reasons why any corporation must outsource their LBR process to a trusted partner:
1. Increased Efficiency & Reduced Costs: As is always the case, the core value proposition to outsource a process revolves around efficiency & cost. For a corporation, it makes both financial and operational sense to outsource the LBR process as it is not a core activity. On the other hand, a services firm that specializes in LBR will set-up a standard process that is efficient, consistent and is delivered by experts.
2.     Structured Reporting: An LBR vendor will analyze multiple legal bills and prepare specific reports, highlighting legal spend analytics, law firm staffing metrics and performance and identify any discrepancies between billing and SLAs.

3.     Standardized Process & Best Practices: As a company specializing in LBR, it is crucial to adopt best practices and learn from the process used for multiple clients. A standard process will include seeking the relevant inputs from the client, running a due diligence process to check every line item in the invoice, understanding the nature of a legal engagement, analysis of mix of legal staff used by the law firm, hours billed and most importantly, check if the numbers are adding up.

4.     Technology-enabled: As an LBR service provider, there is incentive to build technology and acquire tools to drive an efficient process. Be it for reporting and data analytics to reviews of invoice line items, technology can play a very effective role in enhancing the LBR process.

5.     Compliance: The LBR partner firm will also ensure complete compliance for all billing practices to be followed by both the corporation and its legal partner. The services firm will stay abreast with new and evolving regulatory changes and ensure legal bills are in compliance with these norms.

6.     Legal Spend Analytics: Most importantly, the goal of a LBR process is also to reduce unnecessary legal spend and manage legal budgets more carefully. The LBR Process Partner must understand the context of an invoice, the legal service that was offered and must have domain knowledge of legal costs for various types of services. The process partner will often run training programs to constantly upgrade the domain knowledge of the services team and also put down thumb rules to point out red flags.

In our next few posts, we’ll touch upon the topics of e-billing, the usage of AI & pattern recognition in Legal Bill Review and the LBR Process we follow at Cenza.

Would you like to speak to one of our LBR Experts? Would you like an additional pair of eyes to verify your legal spend numbers? Reach us here and we can help. At Cenza, we’ve brought together our years of experience in legal coding, financial services, contract review, and technology adoption, to offer a robust, well-planned LBR Process for our clients.


About the Author: Aditya Mirza

Aditya has a strong background in financial services and legal outsourcing. He has worked in business development and implementation of offshore services for over ten years. In this period, he managed a large number of client engagements for firms in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia. Aditya previously worked at Deutsche Bank, New York. He has a Masters in Finance from Brandeis University and a Bachelor in Accounting from Loyola College, India.