VIDEO: (3 min, 51 seconds)

Providing insight and advice for SME law firms looking at how they can better utilise software, technology and case management systems to improve billed time… (more details below).

Speaker: Hello, my name is Alex Hutchinson. I work with SME law firms who want to better utilise software, technology and case management systems. If you would like to discuss any of the content within this video, or a related challenge you are facing, then please feel free to contact me using the direct contact details within this profile document.

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Transcription: Hello, my name is Alex Hutchinson. I’m the Founder and Director at Chatham Group. This is one of our insight videos where we take a problem or challenge that’s been raised by a law firm and look at how we can provide some insight around how they can start to address that and how we would approach it with them to try to add some value. The topic I want to talk to you about today is around billed time. This has been raised on a number of occasions, and the scenario that is common, or you might be familiar with, is there are 2,000 hours of available billed time per year. We target our fee earners with 1,200 hours of billed time per annum but they operate around 800 to 900. I’m not sure why that is. We can’t seem to improve on that, and whenever we talk to them about how we can increase it, they’re not sure either because they’re flat-out. They’re extremely busy trying to deliver billed time and do work for clients. Where do you start? Where’s the inside value that we’re going to provide in this video? Where firms normally look, their default reaction is to look at what solutions, software, or technology is available to make my people more efficient, so they can generate more billed time. That’s the default position that people go to. There’ll be a common theme within some of these videos where the biggest piece of advice is to stop you looking at solutions at this stage because that’s not where to start. If we were dealing with this project for a client, like we’ve done previously, we’d provide the project and change management resource that is required to investigate, address how you can make this change, and then identify and implement the technology that will help them achieve that. Looking at solutions is not where you start. How you fix this problem is to actually understand where the inefficiencies and time opportunities are that are available within your current people and their daily activity. What you will find is by talking to them and extracting that information. You will find inefficiencies that they are currently having to deal with. So whenever we talk to fee earners and partners in firms, they’re never twiddling their thumbs, they’re very busy trying to deliver billed time and work for clients. What you’ll find is they will typically have a number of challenges that they have to face and deal with when they are engaging with the current technology within a law firm which causes them bottlenecks, frustrations, and it makes them inefficient. It’s almost like they’re treading treacle and having to deal with these other challenges. when really, all they want to be able to do is bill more time. The key is to identify those areas and then work with them to remove those inefficiencies and frustrations of bottlenecks so that they can create more time, so there’s more time available, so they can work more efficiently, and that’s where you start with this. Just as a point that’s very important to consider, you might not need new technology to do that. You might be able to look at these current roadblocks and frustrations they’re dealing with and there might be opportunities to fix that by working better with your current technology. That’s a very important piece of information that you need to know. If you want to review those type of things, it’s a challenge that you’re currently facing and you want to look at how you can improve on the capacity or the billed-time of your people within your law firm, then I’d love to have a conversation with you, and I’d be happy to talk further.

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