Disrupting the Ebilling Status Quo

The LEDES Oversight Committee has issued a survey to collect feedback on issues that exist with ebilling as part of our campaign called “Disrupting the Ebilling Status Quo.”   The survey, open until April 1st, will identify areas where the LOC has an opportunity to create or change standards, offer training and to publish about best practices — all intended to make the process more rational than it is today.

The survey can be found here.  It will take some time to respond to the survey, the length of time depending on the type of organization for which the respondent works.

We appreciate your participation in the survey; all respondents who provide an email address will receive results from the survey.

Board of Director Nominations Sought

We are seeking volunteers and nominations for the 2017 LOC Board of Directors. The term of office is two years and Board members typically spend two or more hours each month participating in organizational activities depending on the seat filled.
Three seats on the Board are the subject of this election, including those held by David Nelson, Daniel Bodnar and Linda Hovanec.
Candidates for the Board must be members of the LEDES Oversight Committee.  They run for an opening on the Board, not a specific seat.  Board members are seated on the first call after the election has concluded in what we best describe as a very polite discussion.
If you are interested in participating in industry thought leadership or would like to nominate someone for the Board, please contact us today.

Annual Members’ Meeting Scheduled

Our annual meeting of members will be held on Tuesday, January 31st at 9:00 a.m. Eastern during the LegalTech New York conference. Wolters Kluwer ELM has graciously offered meeting space at the conference, in the Nassau Room on the 2nd floor the New York Hilton, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY.   You will need a Conference or Exhibits badge to participate in the meeting.
We are coordinating a meeting location in London, and will also make the meeting available via webinar.
To RSVP for either meeting location or the webinar, please Contact LOC.

London Regional Group Winter Meeting Scheduled

LOC Regional Group Director Philip Knight advises:

The next London regional meeting will be held on Tuesday, 10th January 2017 between 11:00-13.00 GMT.  The purpose of these meetings is to provide a channel for dialogue and feedback to the LOC and a platform to air your views, pool your knowledge and experience, network with peers.  We can discuss existing and upcoming standards, propose new standards, address regional concerns, talk over topics in the website forum, put forward questions for the LOC Board, review LOC membership matters and share information.  Both LOC members and non-members are welcome.

The meeting will also be broadcast via webinar.

If you wish to attend please use the Contact LOC feature on this web site for more information and to RSVP for the on-site meeting or the webinar.

LEDES Oversight Committee To Disrupt Ebilling Status Quo

At our mid-year Member’s Meeting, the LEDES Oversight Committee announced that the time has come to identify and address issues and deficiencies with legal ebilling.  As a standards organization the LOC Board recognizes that the we can recommend but not force standards.  Once we have quantified issues experienced by law firm and law department users, subcommittees will be formed to recommend solutions and standards.  We plan a publishing campaign to influence public opinion and create a demand for better solutions.

We look forward to working with our members to effectuate change.

Check back from time to time for more information on this exciting project.

Are you interested in participating in this effort?  The LEDES Oversight Committee is one of the best association bargains in legal.  Use the Join the LOC feature in the menu to join today.

ILTACon Roundup

We are just back this week from the ILTA conference, where the LOC held our mid-year meeting and a panel discussion on “Why UTBMS Isn’t a Waste of Time.”

The UTBMS session was interesting and our panel of experts provided great insight as to how UTBMS is used in electronic validation of invoice submissions, budgeting, invoice review, reporting and in the business intelligence platforms.  One interesting take away is that when clients customize UTBMS, the custom codes need to be mapped back to general codes by the analytics provider in order for the data to be used in benchmarking.  Our thanks to Philip Downey, Jack Thompson, Margie Sleboda and Doug Ventola for all of their great insights.

Survey on J-Codes and Bill of Costs for England and Wales

To Firms That Conduct Civil Litigation in England and Wales
From LEDES Oversight Committee Standards Director David Nelson

Please be aware the Law Society’s survey on J-Codes and the new bill of costs has now been published and can be found here: http://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/civil-litigation/news-and-features/civil-litigation-news-and-updates/new-bill-of-costs-and-j-codes-take-our-survey/5055022.article.

The survey is open until Wednesday 25th May and will help to inform the Law Society’s policy on the new bill format. Please encourage people at your firm to participate in the survey.

Update on Model Form Bill of Costs in England and Wales

LEDES Oversight Committee Standards Board Member David Nelson reports:

For all law firms that conduct civil litigation in England and Wales, Lord Justice Jackson delivered a keynote speech at the Law Society’s Civil Litigation conference yesterday (Thu 21st April 2016) regarding the new Bill of Costs and the J-Codes.  The text of Lord Justice Jackson’s speech is available here: Jackson talk on new bill of costs.21.4.16.

Background for your information: 

As you may be aware, the judiciary in England and Wales asked Lord Justice Jackson to conduct a review of the way costs are presented to and assessed by the courts. This was known as the Jackson Review of Civil Litigation Costs in England and Wales, simply referred to as the ‘Jackson Review’.

Several recommendations were made by Jackson LJ in his final report in the area of the inter-parte Bill-of-Costs, with the aim of reducing the preparation lead-times involved in producing the bill and improving the assessment of it (and reducing the time it takes to assess).

A committee was set-up to work on realising these recommendations, now known as the Hutton Committee – it is chaired by Alex Hutton QC and its members consist of representatives from a broad section of the legal industry, including Costs’ Lawyers, a Costs’ Judge; Legal Firms and company directors, and a representative from the ACL.  The LOC participated by virtue of having David Nelson (LOC standards director) serving as the project coordinator on the Committee.

The committee delivered two work products – 1: the J-Codes and 2: the new model form Bill-of-Costs (for inter-parte costs to be presented to the court at the conclusion of the case). The J-Codes were ratified by the LOC in September 2014 and are a valid UTBMS standard. They can be used for eBilling if the client requires them and the vendor has them configured (the LOC hopes that they have by now). The new Bill-of-Costs is currently under voluntary pilot in the SCCO (Senior Courts Costs’ Office) until October 2016.

Much has appeared in the legal press about both the J-Codes and the new Bill-of-Costs, and there has been controversy which is too much to cover in this announcement.

The important take-away is that the new Bill-of-Costs is on the horizon, so law firms in England and Wales need to review it accordingly and consider how and when to start using it. Reviewing LJ Jackson’s speech may help in this decision making process.

Mergers & Acquisitions UTBMS Codes Now Available

The LEDES Oversight Committee is pleased to announce the ratification of a new Mergers and Acquisitions UTBMS code set.

The new code set was originally proposed by a task force on legal project management within the ABA M&A Committee in 2015.

The final code set ratified by the Board of the LEDES Oversight Committee in February, 2016 represents a joint effort between the ABA M&A task force and the LOC M&A UTBMS Standards Development Subcommittee and includes input from law firms, corporate legal departments, legal technology vendors, and consulting firms around the world.

The codes are available here.

LOC Changes Membership Structure!

On January 29, 2016 the LEDES Oversight Committee members enacted a change to our membership structure.

Previously membership in the LOC was limited to organizations.  An individual derived their membership in the LOC by virtue of working for a member organization.  Each member organization was able to designate one voting member, an alternate voting member, and an unlimited number of general (non-voting) members for the $200 yearly membership fee.  On initiatives presented to the membership for consideration, each organizational member was able to cast a single vote.  Importantly, when an individual discontinued working for the member organization, the individual lost their membership in the LOC.

In 2016 the membership structure has change to individual membership.  Now all LOC members have the right to vote on initiatives presented to the membership for consideration, and an individual’s membership will continue regardless of their employment status.

The only requirement to become a member in the LOC is that an individual “shall be … working, or having retired from work, in some capacity within or associated with the legal industry.”

The dues for individual members in 2016 are $95 USD.

To become a member, use the application form here.