Thursday, February 13, 2014

The changing world for IP Firms and Outside Counsel Relationships

For 9 years now we’ve had law firms using the ANAQUA IAM System and in that time their world has changed, especially in recent years. Corporations are demanding different service models from their law firms.  Just last week we hosted an IAM Leadership Webinar featuring one of our clients, Ingersoll Rand. In that webinar Bruce Schelkopf, Vice President and Chief IP Counsel, described how Ingersoll Rand now expects a different relationship with their outside counsel. They want collaborative partnerships and demand technological perspective, knowledgeable and data driven advice and faster services.
So how can IP Firms stay competitive and deliver the service that companies like Ingersoll Rand have come to expect? The key is to switch thinking from hours = profitability to efficiency + high quality advice = profitability.
The old model of hourly billing is changing. You may ask “Why would a law firm want to enable efficiencies when it will reduce hourly billings?”  The reality is that leading firms are no longer thinking this way. Leading firms are getting premium dollars for the advice and counsel they are providing to their clients and clients are prepared to pay that premium for high quality advice in a timely fashion.   In the legal world, doing things quicker and delivering advice faster than your competitors is hugely important.
If the law firm wants to keep the same level of billings, one approach is to convert to a task-based fixed-price structure with the client.  For example, a fixed price of $X for drafting and filing a patent application.  This structure allows the firm to compete better in the market place because it reduces uncertainty for the client. The law firm can complete work faster and more efficiently with the many productivity enhancements that a system like Anaqua provides.  The fixed price structure helps them to increase both revenue and profits.  So in the end the leading firms that adopt technology make their clients happy and make more money.
Anaqua allows law firms to be more competitive, build stronger client relationships, increase quality, reduce risk, be more efficient and productive, reduce cost and increase profits. 
Our technology and the best practices we have developed have helped law firms transform themselves.  We are very excited to be at the forefront of this.  Don’t get lost in this changing world – contact us to learn how to keep up.