Key Takeaways from the LPPM 2021 Virtual Summit

On March 3, members of the Legal Value Network attended the Legal Pricing and Practice Management (LPPM) Virtual Summit to discuss the results of the inaugural LPPM Survey produced with Blickstein Group in collaboration with Intapp. The webinar explored the many challenges professional services firms face, including change management, data and solution silos, and scalability.

Read on for some of the top takeaways from each breakout session, and learn how OnePlace Operations & Finance can give your firm a competitive advantage.

(The event was convened under the Chatham House Rule, which allows us to share relevant information without revealing speakers’ identities.)

Address and Deliver Client Value

According to the survey, 94% of LPPMs reported that their firms make a “strong effort to understand the problems clients face.” Clients, on the other hand, did not share this viewpoint: Only 57% agreed that their outside counsel make strong efforts to understand their problems.

Firms sometimes mistake the concept of client value as nothing more than sticking to budgets and following timelines. Although these two factors are certainly important, firms must also invest in strategies that ensure time and money are well spent, and that the quality of work is apparent to clients.

“Pricing strategies are a key component of business development and client satisfaction efforts,” said Sharon Scenna, Industry Advisor to the OnePlace Operations & Finance team at Intapp. “Clients want to work with firms that deliver quality legal work while continuously performing at or under budget.”

To move the needle on value, firms must harness and leverage data, and present experience, insights, and guidance in accordance with client goals. Firms must also address client concerns, facilitate meaningful discussions that demonstrate value, and eventually move beyond the inevitable discount discussion. AI-enabled technology can provide the insights and information needed to successfully accomplish these objectives.

Through our applied AI technologies, Intapp supports and enables firms to deploy a working model where insights and experience can be gathered and presented in support of client value. Our OnePlace Operations & Finance suite helps firms quickly and accurately capture activity, effort, and outcomes to  understand the true value of engagements. The software also lets firms accurately derive and compare effort, pricing, and resourcing options to give clients the value, transparency, and predictability they demand.

Invest in Technology

Data and solution silos are a serious problem for any business: Processes slow down, information may be lost, and the firm as a whole becomes inefficient. Some firm leaders have invested in technology to begin their journey to becoming a truly connected firm; however, other leaders remain unsure whether a connected firm management solution will truly benefit their lawyers and clients, or how they can craft a plan and strategy to get there.

In the LPPM survey, 43% of respondents stated that they do not have the right technology to successfully perform their jobs. Investing in technology could easily help professionals and also bolster firm growth, competitive agility, and ultimately profitability. AI-based solutions provide insights throughout the client matter lifecycle — on pricing, potential risks, timelines, and other critical factors. AI-driven solutions that leverage broad lifecycle data also provide critical comprehensive insights firms need to elevate and accelerate business strategies.

For lawyers and legal teams, accessing firm data within a single system also prevents silos from forming, drastically reducing redundancies and inconsistencies. Connected firm technology allows professionals to quickly access the information they need when they need it, and get straight to the business of delivery. This, in turn, increases client satisfaction and profitability, allowing you to effectively scale your firm and take on more matters.

During the virtual summit, an LPM director from Am Law 50 firm summed up the issues neatly: “Scale is always a challenge. But as [LPPM] teams become more reliable and sought after, we can better support value delivery to our lawyers and our clients.”

Embrace Innovation and Change
Change is perhaps the biggest challenge facing every firm, especially as firms grow and take on new clients. Observing that 75% of survey respondents reported clients truly expect firms to innovate,  Christopher Kraft, General Manager of Operations and Finance Solutions at Intapp, remarked, “Although innovation is arduous, clients demand it.”

But before you make any major changes or invest in the latest technology, you need to consider your firm’s strategy. The changes you bring into your firm should reflect its goals and values. You must ensure that your innovative solutions benefit both your professionals and the clients they serve. Firms can improve transparency by providing clients with better visibility into data and metrics, for instance. Firms may also wish to change the way they price matters, focusing on the quality of work produced rather than the quantity of hours billed.

Intapp continually updates OnePlace Operations & Finance to help you easily keep up with industry trends and best practices. Using our AI-enabled software, your professionals will spend less time on trivial tasks and more time on innovative work and strategic planning.

Learn how OnePlace Operations & Finance can help your firm stay at the forefront of innovation: 

Written by:

Jill Nelson

Senior Director, OnePlace Operations & Finance

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