Risk management — taking a fresh approach to new business intake

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Today, multiple market pressures are forcing law firms to act and operate more like corporate businesses. In response to increasing client expectations and demands, firms are exploring new business models, such as fixed and alternative fee arrangements. They are also investing significant resources in client service and operational efficiency to improve performance and increase profitability. All these changes create new demands on lawyers and firm management, as well as staff across departments including finance, risk and IT.

There is probably no activity that better captures this nexus of pressures better than new business intake. At its essence, it comprises two tasks: deciding whether to take on new clients or matters, and enabling lawyers to start working and billing hours in a timely manner. While straightforward conceptually, in practice, both tasks test a firm’s ability to implement strategy and operate efficiently…

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