The world’s first law firm IPO happened this month, when Melbourne-based personal injury firm Slater & Gordon listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. And unlike the earlier attempt by Integrated Legal Holdings, this float went off without a hitch. Indeed it went off with a pop. Shares were up 40% on their issue price by the end of the first day, and have gone up considerably since then.
Hard to believe, I know. But the conclusion of Roberta Gelb in a recent Law.com article, Beware the Hidden Costs of Bad Formatting is that document formatting is not sexy. That said, it may save you money. Possibly lots of money, if Roberta's sums are to be believed.
As a fresh faced law school graduate, one of my first tasks at the firm I joined was to incorporate a company. From what I recall, the process involved:
- Writing people's names and addresses over and over again in a whole bunch of documents (application forms; directors' consents; meeting minutes; share certificates; notices, and numerous other templates) and crossing out sections of documents that weren't applicable.
Having worked a lot with banks recently, we’re well aware of their huge range of product offerings. (According to Accenture, your typical bank now has about 350 products.)
Us versus them! This often seems to be the attitude of an organization’s legal department vis-à-vis its internal clients, and vice versa. As Ken Adams puts it:
I’m not paying for a junior to learn the ropes.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This might well be the motto of many law firms when it comes to billing by the hour. But if recent reports are any guide, it’s getting increasingly difficult for firms to cling to the illusion that the hourly billing model ain’t broke.
A favorite legal drafting trick is to play around with the strictness of obligations. Rather than say Fred must deliver the rocks to Barney within 7 days, why not say that Fred will use reasonable endeavours to deliver the rocks to Barney within 7 days.
When it comes to closing deals, two’s company, and four’s a crowd. It’s much easier and quicker for two people to reach agreement about the terms of a deal than it is for three or four.
Things have been rather busy at Exari during the last 12 months. Our customer list, user base, and revenues have doubled (or more) and there’s no sign of slowing down soon. Which begs the question: what’s going on? Why are so many people embracing document generation now more than ever?
Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler doesn’t mince his words when it comes to law firms and their addiction to the billable hour: