Pricing Legal Services

Pricing Legal Services is THE best practice guide to the profitable pricing and delivery of legal matters. Written specifically for law firm partners as well as senior managers and business development executives, it provides detailed, practical guidance on developing a coherent pricing strategy, implementing pricing-management practices within large and medium-sized law firm partnerships and tactics on pricing legal services.

In today’s demand driven legal marketplace, clients have changed their attitude to price and service. They demand more certainty about the end price and are becoming more discriminating in what work they give to firms, based on a view that no firm is the best in everything and that most firms are really strong in a small number of work types.

Law firms have tended to respond merely by discounting rates and then working at cost reduction to try and preserve profit margins. Discounting in the face of on-going price pressure, however, is not a long term solution and requires a significant change to the law firm business model.

Law firms face three challenges in a demand driven market:

  • To match the price to the value perception of the client ahead of doing the work rather than discounting having done the work.
  • To manage the cost of doing the work so the work meets the price for the client and the target profit margin for the firm.
  • To adapt their organisations to deliver at the level required.

Pricing Legal Services will equip you to adapt to the challenges of the competitive pricing environment by identifying the conditions and tools necessary to develop a sustainable pricing culture that is right for your firm and clients.

The report also examines the vital link between project management, process improvement and profitable pricing strategies. Most clients apply similar techniques throughout their business and they expect the same from their external counsel. Pricing Legal Services outlines the key principles and stages involved in both legal project management and process improvement and offers workable solutions for firms to adopt.

Firms that fail to get their pricing strategies right over the coming years will find their profit margins being eroded and their competitive position undermined.

Report Structure

The Pricing Challenge

  • Understanding the shift in status quo
  • Building a pricing culture

Understanding Profitability & Value

  • The value proposition
  • Profitability
  • Aligning the business model
  • Critical success factors

Pricing for client satisfaction and profitability

  • Pricing trends
  • Price certainty and profitability
  • Pricing more competitively
  • Critical success factors

Delivering on price - Legal Project Management

  • The case for legal project management
  • A simple project management methodology
  • Factors critical to getting it right

Managing the change

  • Getting from knowledge to action to outcomes
  • Vision
  • Plan
  • Power
  • Conclusion

Part Two: Case Studies

  • Case Study 1: Trends in corporate legal spend
  • Case Study 2: Turning e-billing to law firm advantage
  • Case Study 3: Developing a pricing culture at Bryan Cave


Pauline Doohan

Publication date:
February 2015



About the author:

Pauline is a leading consultant in law firm management. She started her career as a lawyer and went on to specialise in legal management consultancy after completing an MBA in legal practice management.  

Pauline’s key area of focus in recent years has been in the area of law firm efficiency. Combining her insights from working with in-house legal counsel together with her thorough understanding of law firm economics and change management she has developed a holistic approach to assisting firms to maximize profitability.

Pauline is a Director of ‘DC’, a dedicated legal consultancy, and she counts among her clients Global 100, Amlaw 200 and UK Top 20 firms.

Pauline is a qualified Solicitor, holds an MBA in Legal Practice Management from Nottingham Law School, a LLM in Law & Computers from Queens University Belfast and a BA in Law & European Studies from the University of Limerick.

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