Debt recovery or problem escalation?

  Avid readers of this column (I live in hope) will be familiar with my pieces on competent retainer management.[i] In the last year, I’ve encountered an increase in small practitioners who take their eyes off their aged debtors lists to suddenly discover that they have a serious cash flow problem. Now, the best way

Extracting value from the first hour

  I think I’m OK at the whole productivity/behaviour game. But just recently a client spoke to me so passionately about value lost at early morning log-on that I thought I’d pass the story on. It goes like this… The lawyer arrives, logs on and opens Outlook. He starts scanning his email inbox. In the

Managing expectations via the agreement schedule

  Most firms now divide their client agreements into a set of general conditions which are common for all clients, and a schedule which sets out the essential facts and details of the matter. This works well because (a) each schedule item aligns with the associated field in the practice system, (b) essential information is

The matter and the money

Talking confidently and concurrently about matter and money In the Proctor July edition, we reproduced a piece called Getting paid: Start with file opening. This is a reprint from the same journal 10 years earlier. Some things just stay important. The essence of that article was that responsibility for slow or poor payment by clients

Getting paid: Start with file opening

A practical plan to improve cash flow and client relations Some messages are worth repeating. This popular article appeared in the April 2006 edition of Proctor, but the message in this updated version is as relevant now as it was 10 years ago: ABSTRACT Many firms bemoan the difficulties with slow, combative, and non-payers. And

No Charge Time Entries – Winning the War

Itemised time billing is often experienced (rightly or wrongly) as a relentless one way bargain skewed in the firm’s favour. This can produce various payment issues, including discount demands, and eventually broken relationships. Judicious use of no-charge (N/C) entries for some itemised attendances can change this for the better. Don’t fret about throwing away money