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By Richard Burcher
Migration from pricing as an administrative function to pricing as a skill: Pricing is a skill. That’s it. No discussion. Anyone who thinks differently is living in a parallel universe; the one where all that is required to make a good living out of legal practice just has to open the office door in the morning and have a pulse.
Current international legal services pricing best practice requires firms to address three key areas: pricing governance, pricing analytics and pricing execution. Firms need to undertake a highly critical and honest stock take in each of these areas. Most will find themselves wanting in all three, some more or less than others.
Over the last five years, all the other profitability levers have been pulled or are in the process of being pulled; cost cutting, redundancies, mergers, diversification, specialisation, restructuring. The one that has received little or no attention is pricing but many are now realising that it holds considerable promise provided they treat it as a capability requiring commitment and investment. That trend is gaining pace.
Pricing will become a more collaborative process with clients: Clients have made it quite clear that they want to be at the centre of the pricing process, and not be treated as an irritating complication. They want to see from their lawyers:
Real efforts to reduce production costs. In other words, to move away from a cost-plus mentality.
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