Hill Dickinson has become the latest firm to moot plans to create a new centralised billing system in order to reduce lock-up and increase efficiency.
The defining feature of the new system is likely to be a move away from lawyer-led billing to a dedicated centralised billing team taking responsibility for generating bills.
The firm already offers different billing methods according to the client’s service level agreement including monthly, quarterly, annual and e-billing.
Hill Dickinson is expected to pilot the new system from the beginning of the 2014/15 financial year.
According to The Lawyer’s UK200 figures, Hill Dickinson has failed to meet its 125-day lock-up target since at least 2009. However it has gradually reduced work-in-progress from 62 days in 2009/10 to 60 in the last financial year, and debtor days from 72 to 67 over the same period.
The firm has already had to increase capital contributions from partners to investing in IT and infrastructure improvements (7 August 2013).
It issued an unrelated second cash call last month in response to HMRC’s changes to partnership taxation rules (19 February 2014).
At the end of January DWF confirmed it was forcing the pace on greater billing discipline across the firm with an aim to reduce lock-up by between five and 10 days on average each month (30 January 2014).
Managing partner Peter Jackson declined to comment on the plans.