As many law firms look at implementing technology into their operations, the questions become, “Who is going to pay for it?” and “How can I recover these costs?” This blog post will explore three different charge-back options when upgrading your firm’s technology, and how they may or may not work within your organization.
Charge-Back Options for Legal Tech Upgrades
Option 1: Spread the Cost Across Multiple Clients
If your law firm specializes in only one niche and/or all your clients are about the same size, you may be able to do this. Each client would sign a case-based transactional agreement which entitles you to bill them for a portion of the hardware and software you use to litigate their case.
The problem with this scenario is, you may encounter client resistance to additional fees unless they see a real value in the implementation of the technology. If you can show cost savings in the number of hours billed to them or the case discovery was so much quicker, any charge-back fees will be more readily accepted.
Option 2: Recoup Costs on a Client-by-Client Basis
This option works well if you are renting/leasing/acquiring certain hardware and software specific to that client. If you use this option, detail the costs and metrics, so they know they are not paying for other clients’ use of the same system.
Engaging in a flex rent solution is one good way to measure costs, because rental costs are only occur when your staff uses the computer. In addition, you can rent additional equipment on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on your specific client needs and return the equipment when the case is settled.
Option 3: Outsource Everything
Rather than having to keep track to computers, software applications, networking issues and BYOD policies, your firm can outsource all your technology needs. The only thing each associate needs is a computer and log-in credentials.
While this is an option, it will be difficult to charge anything back to a client. This option works well with a large, multi-faceted law firm that is more interested in disbursing technology expenses to their own, internal departments.
Whichever option you choose from the above, it is important to answer the following questions:
- What is your value proposition to the client? In other words, how has this technology helped save the client time in court and money?
- How will you specifically measure a client’s use of the system?
- Will you give the client an itemized bill? Will this be an hourly or monthly charge?
- What part of these charges will you write off internally or charge to internal departments?
Implementing a proper charge-back system requires taking a hard look at your infrastructure, hardware, software and IT requirements. In addition, when implementing such a process, you will have to have proper reporting metrics in case your client challenges you on the fees. Lastly, if value is given and you can show an overall decrease in their monthly or annual bill, clients will not complain!
Hartford Technology Rental Offers Litigation Support
We provide litigation support rentals nationwide. Call us today at 888-520-5667 or go online to fill out our form. One of our technical sales representatives can select the right equipment that meets your needs and that will measure up to your charge-back system methodology.