Analysis News Business Leadership Law firms Firms get creative as holiday fever sparks billing chaos By The Lawyer 10 April 2011 00:00 17 December 2015 15:07 Sign in or register to continue reading. It's FREE Sign in Email Password Keep me logged in Forgot your password? Not registered? It's FREE! Register now Register with The Lawyer Danno 11 April 2011 at 10:16 That’s nothing – at my Oxford college we’re having to have our collection exams on Thursday instead of Friday! It’s an administrative nightmare that exposed the deep anti-monarchist elements among the Fellows. Reply Link Anonymous 11 April 2011 at 14:01 If one extra day’s holiday is sufficient to cause “billing chaos” in top 50 law firms then there is something seriously wrong with their systems. Any law firm that does not in this day and age have systems and controls to ensure WIP is billed as a matter of course during the period rather than the antiquated “last day of the month” needs their arse kicking. Reply Link No accounting for taste 11 April 2011 at 14:18 As an accountant, I’ve been hearing grumbling by law firms for the last couple of months precisely on this issue. Of course it’s unfortunate that there are so many short weeks and bank holidays in April, but this situation has showed up the lamentable financial management in even the major legal practices. That so many large businesses constantly rely on partners to get their clients to pay the bills and that those partners are manifestly unable to persuade their clients so to do, shows the profession in a very bad light, and it is a sorry state of affairs. Reply Link The Anvil 11 April 2011 at 14:59 @Noaccountingfortaste Isn’t this the problem? Lawyers are trained in black letter law and not in business. Most partners can write a detailed 10page opinion letter but they are clueless about managing the business. Reply Link Sally Vanson 11 April 2011 at 15:15 This is yet another example of the uncommerciality and arrogance of law firms. What makes them think they are so different from other professional services firms. Hopefully the Legal Services Act will have enough impact to help them rethink their antiquated values and learn some basic business management and cash flow skills or is the real issue to get enough money in to improve their already huge annual pay outs? Reply Link Anonymous 11 April 2011 at 16:13 I couldn’t agree more with the comments above – you would think that with modern IT facilities and proper business sense this wouldn’t be a problem. The legal profession really is a joke sometimes. Reply Link Poor Housekeeping 11 April 2011 at 19:09 Many lawyers are more interested in poring over pedantic legal minutiae than sorting out the “admin” of billing, despite the fact that billing is the second most important aspect of a law firm after its reputation. I’m surprised that clients with multiple long running matters don’t go beserk at being walloped with a flurry of bills once a year. Prompt final billing and regular interim billing should be par for the course. It’s embarrassing. Reply Link Anonymous 11 April 2011 at 20:52 Never have understood this. All the big law firms will account for income on a time worked (WIP) basis and therefore it wont make any difference when they get around to billing it, as long as they do! Reply Link Scrooge 11 April 2011 at 23:48 Isnt it time these people realised where their pay comes from – no bills, no pay. Reply Link 1000 chimps typing 12 April 2011 at 15:10 To all the paragons of good housekeeping above, I am impressed that you have such excellent systems in place. If you didn’t, I’d suspect that always being on top of your admin meant you didn’t have enough work to do. Reply Link Poor Housekeeping 12 April 2011 at 21:35 Re 1000 chimps typing; Lawyers who do not have enough work on cannot even bill, can they? I recently received a flurry of letters from DWF asking for copies of deeds relating to matters which closed many years previously to “complete their records”. Now that’s what lawyers who have bugger all on do… Reply Link Anonymous 13 April 2011 at 16:11 1000 chimps typing – being on top of your admin means you have a good secretary. I think I’d die of shock if I actually saw a lawyer dealing with anything to do with billing. Reply Link Name Email Cancel reply Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.