4 min read
How do you know if you’re overpaying for legal services?
Published: September 18, 2019
Recent data from Apperio’s insight report has shown that as many as nine out of ten legal departments are unaware of how much they’ve spent on external legal counsel in the last year. Perhaps equally surprising is the fact that one in five fixed fee arrangements are billed over agreed budgets. Clearly, ageing practice management systems put clients at risk of overpaying for legal services. More to the point, these unclear systems are costing clients far more than they had initially agreed to pay.
Many businesses are overpaying for legal services
Whilst we can all agree that transparent pricing across the board is vital for a marketplace to function fairly, this unfortunately does not yet exist within the market for UK commercial law. Rather, traditional law firms are notorious for ambiguous pricing structures – meaning it’s almost impossible for you, as a client, to understand how much transactions are going to cost your business ahead of time.
A report conducted by Jim Diamond, a UK legal cost analyst, found that the lack of transparency around legal costs also allows top law firms virtual control over their prices. This is compounded further by the fact that the average hourly rates for commercial legal services are often not published online. When you consider that it is common practice for lawyers to charge per every six minutes of their time – it’s largely unsurprising that hefty bills can quickly occur.
To address this situation, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) issued ethics guidance on transparency in price and service in late 2018. The guidance encouraged all regulated law firms and freelance solicitors to publish information on the prices they charge – in the hope that this will help to overcome some of the key barriers that discourage small businesses from accessing legal services. Whilst it may be too soon to analyse the effects of such measures on UK law firms, it certainly makes clear that a shift toward transparency is both needed and expected.
Non-specialised lawyers are costing you more
When sourcing legal services within the technology sector, it is particularly useful to find a specialist. This is largely because technology changes quickly; new regulations are created on a frequent basis and it can be difficult to keep up if you are not well-versed within the industry.
What’s more, when dealing with non-specialised lawyers, you’ll likely find that it can take a long time to get the accurate advice and results your business needs. This is because non-specialised lawyers are unfamiliar with your business challenges and the context within which you operate, and they will need time to get to grips with your requirements. In such situations, you’re likely to end up paying through the nose for advice that isn’t even tailored to your industry.
Do you work with high, one-off or hourly fees? Have you been surprised by unexpected bills or hidden costs? Does your business use a generalist law firm for specialised contracts? If the resounding answer is yes, then you may well be overpaying for your legal services.
Fortunately, there’s a solution.
Law 365 could be the alternative you’ve been looking for
At Law 365, we specialise in helping Microsoft partners grow their business through cost-effective and rapid legal services. In fact, we’re the only firm in the country with the sole mission of advising the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN).
We’re proud to have spent over 10 years working with the MPN, and we’ve seen first-hand how specialised lawyers can make legal processes much easier and more efficient for all involved.
For your business to grow as a Microsoft partner, you need practical, commercial and advisory services alongside the legal understanding and knowledge of your business challenges. You need a law firm that truly understands the technology space and the Microsoft world. You also need visibility on cost and accessibility to lawyers without breaking the bank. For this reason, we offer contract review, contract negotiation and contract templates specifically designed for Microsoft partners – alongside transparent pricing structures and fixed monthly costs.
At Law 365, we are familiar with the nuances of your business. This knowledge – combined with our use of the latest workplace technology – provides peace of mind for clients and saves time all round.
Saving time with the latest technology
We provide first class advice to partners, please refer to our website for a full suite of service offerings.
Breaking the mould of traditional law firms
In a nutshell, Law 365 aims to disrupt traditional law processes by providing specialist advice at fair rates. We understand why fear of high costs and legalese have kept growing companies from seeking the specialist advice they need, but we believe in a better way of providing legal services – designed specifically to suit you.
We know that it’s all too easy to overpay for legal services, and we’re keen to provide an alternative solution. That’s why our low-cost monthly subscription services could be just what your business needs.
“Law 365’s service engagement model is very flexible; essentially allowing the business to engage their legal services in a very cost effective manner and as needs dictate.”
– Jason Moody, Owner and COO at Convergent Network Solutions Limited
“Law 365 are extremely professional and gave straight-forward advice. They’re easy to communicate with and, as importantly, prompt to respond to queries.”
– David Francis, Integrated Services Director at Content and Code