LOC Regional Group Director Philip Knight advises:
The next London regional meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 17th 2018 at 10:00 a.m. 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 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.
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.
Our 2018 Board has been seated. Our leadership includes:
President – Jane A. Bennitt, Global Legal Ebilling, LLC
Vice President – Cathrine J. Collins, Legal Systems Automation, LLC
Treasurer/Membership – Jim Hannigan, Fenwick & West, LLC
Secretary – Daniel Bodnar, Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker
Standards – Nicholas Puschak, Mitratech
Regional Groups – Philip K. Knight, LSG
Marketing – Valerie Milewski, Mayer Brown
The LEDES Board of Directors has authorized the creation of an API Development Subcommittee, with Nicholas Puschak and Daniel Bodner serving as co-chairs. The subcommittee will develop and publish a software API that will enable direct application-to-application exchange of legal invoices and other information. The goal of this subcommittee is to define an industry standard REST Software API specification that will allow law firm time and billing applications to communicate directly to the corporate legal department matter management and e-billing applications, allowing law firm users to simply work within their time and billing applications to view the status of an invoice and to submit invoices, accruals and other legal data, eliminating the need to manually create and upload LEDES files to various systems. Participation in this effort is limited to LOC members. For more information, email us using the Contact LOC feature here.
The LEDES Oversight Committee Board of Directors has authorized the creation of a subcommittee to consider updates to the IP Invention Disclosure Schema. Robin Hunziker, who spearheaded creation of the original standard, is leading this effort.
A draft version of the proposed revisions can be found here, as well as a link to a survey to collect public comment on the changes.
A new book on using the Mergers and Acquisitions Codes is now available. Authored by Aileen Leventon and Jenny Ann Horst-Martz, who led the effort to create the M&A codes, this modestly priced resource illustrates how the codes can be used to help price or evaluate fees and value of a matter, identify where you are in the matter/plan budget, identify out-of scope work that may need to be addressed and enable corrective action as needed to meet deadlines and budgets. More information on the book can be found here.
It is our understanding that as the judiciaries of England and Wales move ahead with the electronic form bill of costs, it is no longer required that attorneys use the J-Code task and activity codes when recording their time or in the new model form bill-of-costs itself (the nBOC). HOWEVER attorneys are required to use the hierarchy established in the J-Codes (in other words, use the J-Code task and activity code headings) in the nBOC, or use an alternate time categorization system for litigation in England and Wales in the nBOC that is permissible by the court, in the same way as the J-Codes are and that it is at least as good as the J-Codes. The J-Codes are inherently permissible, being drafted by the judiciaries own Hutton Committee in collaboration with the LOC and authorized by three leading judges.
While firms can establish their own code numbering schema using the J-Code hierarchy, THEY MUST ALSO provide a worksheet in the electronic form bill of costs that translates the codes used into the headings.
The LEDES Oversight Committee recommends that firms simply use the J-Codes as elaborated here, as most firms will be familiar with the phases and tasks and also using UTBMS codes when recording their time.
More on the timescale for mandatory use of the nBOC: Our last information is that the usage of the nBOC was to become mandatory at the beginning of October 2017 and it will need to be used for all work done after that date. However, it is also understood that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have advised it to become mandatory beginning 06 April 2018 (to allow for the mandatory use of the nBOC in county courts as well as high court). Given this, we advise firms to check for themselves on the go-live ‘mandatory use of the nBOC’ date.
Irrespective of the actual go-live date of the nBOC, it is going to happen soon. It would be prudent for law firms to consider implementing the J-Codes or an alternative but equal system as soon as possible, so that time is recorded using appropriate task and activity codes, which will in turn enable the easier production of the nBOC at the close of the case when it will be required (assuming of course, the case is won). This will then wield the advantages of the nBOC in terms of time and cost savings in its production.
Law firms are encouraged to find out more about the new model form bill of costs for themselves. Please visit the judiciaries website for official information before making any decisions.
President: Jane A. Bennitt, Global Legal Ebilling, LLC
Vice President: Valerie Milewski, Mayer Brown
Treasurer: Keely Kurtas-Chapman, Vorys Sater Seymour & Pease LLP
Secretary: Daniel Bodnar, Thomson Legal Tracker
Standards: Nicholas Puschak, Mitratech
Regional Groups: Philip Knight, LSG
Marketing: Steven Cahill, Simmons & Simmons LLP
As part of our campaign called “Disrupting the Ebilling Status Quo,” the LEDES Oversight Committee posted a survey to collect feedback from the legal industry to identify issues experienced by each constituency participating in ebilling — vendors (of third party ebilling systems, ebilling administration tools or LEDES invoice generators, law firm practice management and timekeeping systems that create LEDES invoice files, and BI and benchmarking system vendors), law departments that mandate ebilling, law firms and other legal vendors who submit ebills, consultants, educators and legal organizations concerned about ebilling.
The survey closed on April 1st, and we are happy to report that we had 141 responses, by far our most successful survey to date.
We are organizing the responses for evaluation. Look for more information on what we found in May, and the follow-on steps that will be taken by the LOC to right the course of ebilling.
We thank everyone who provided feedback on this important topic.
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.
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.