Standard Press Release
LEDES Oversight Committee
Jane Bennitt, President
For Immediate Release
LEDES Oversight Committee Announces Ratification to XML Ebilling Standards
Northford, Connecticut, May 11, 2023 – Today, the LEDES Oversight Committee (LOC), the global non-profit organization driving data exchange standards for the legal community, is pleased to announce the ratification of updates to the XML Ebilling formats, with new versions including the following newly released standards: XML Ebilling 2.0.4, XML Ebilling 2.1.4 and XML Ebilling 2.2.1. These updates are aimed at improving the consistency and optimization of the ebilling process across the legal industry.
The new iterations of the XML Ebilling formats incorporate numerous enhancements to ensure the consistency of the fields, thereby improving the usability of the previous versions. Notably, the calculation of invoices has been refined, and recommended updates to the ebilling system validations have been implemented. These improvements address a longstanding issue with timekeeper rate management and approval.
Get ready to be blown away by the exciting updates we've made to the XML Ebilling standards. Check out these key areas that have been updated:
• In the past, as updated XML formats (XML 2.1x and 2.2x) were introduced, many new fields were added to the data string to meet requirements. Format specification documents have been updated to reflect past/current changes to meet requirements.
• By aligning the base fields across the three XML versions, XML Ebilling format 2.0.4, which has the smallest required data string, becomes a much more versatile solution and ensures usability into the future.
• The data string in each format has been reimagined to support situations where a timekeeper rate is approved in one currency but the matter billed in a different currency. LEDES members identified that how systems handle this currently results in often more than 60% of the tasks required to generate a legal ebill. By the addition of a few fields and adjusting three validation rules, the new data string will alleviate this pain point for both clients and their legal advisors required to ebill.
Said Jane A. Bennitt, President of LEDES Oversight Committee, about the updates to support rate management, “We heard our members. These updates are intended to create a more efficient data set, process and workflow across all vendor systems in our discipline, and benefits not only the legal vendors required to ebill, but the legal organizations that mandate legal ebilling. The next step is for vendor systems supporting the industry to incorporate these changes into their processes.”
The LOC would like to recognize contributions to this release by Jane A. Bennitt, Nadia Strobbia, Frank Mikulak and David Nelson in crafting this solution, as well as the LOC London Regional Group who provided background on issues related to this release.
When required by their clients, law firms and other legal vendors generate electronic invoices using one of the LEDES standards. These ebills are consumed by systems that facilitate the validation, review and payment of legal invoices by the client organizations.
By updating the XML Ebilling standards, the LOC is helping to ensure that legal professionals can continue to exchange billing information accurately and efficiently. These updates demonstrate the LOC's commitment to staying current with industry trends, technological advancements and “building a better mouse-trap” for our industry.
The updates to the XML Ebilling standards are a positive development for the legal industry, as they have the potential to make the ebilling process more efficient and effective.
LEDES™ is an acronym for the Legal Electronic Data Exchange System. The LEDES Oversight Committee is the governing body that creates the standards used for the exchange of information in the legal industry around the world. This volunteer-led not for profit group is comprised of representatives from corporate legal departments, law firms, universities, software vendors and legal technology consultants. Since its founding, the LOC has released numerous standards for the exchange of legal ebilling, timekeeper, budget and intellectual property matter information, as well as contributing and maintaining UTBMS (Uniform Task Based Management System, a series of codes used for legal data exchange) standards. The organization maintains two web sites, LEDES.org for its data exchange standards and UTBMS.com as a central reference point for any ratified UTBMS (Uniform Task-Base Management System, a coding hierarchy used in legal data exchange) standards.
Notably, the LEDES Ebilling standards are globally recognized as compliant industry-specific EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) formats for electronic invoicing.
To request more information on the new standards, visit the LEDES.org website or contact the LEDES Board at loc@LEDES.org.