Combine People and Technology for a 1-2 Punch that Increases Value

It is now common for corporations to implement Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) systems that help to streamline operations and control legal spend via an e-billing solution. Some may assume that having this type of system in place is all they need to maximize the legal or claims department’s value and efficiency. However, there is an additional service that, when combined with advanced ELM technology, can help increase their ELM value even further: professional Legal Bill Review (LBR).

Taking Legal Bill Review from Good to Great

LBR, which is often handled in-house, refers to the process of reviewing invoices and checking them against billing guidelines, service level agreements, applicable laws, and other generally accepted standards. Contracting an external, professional LBR team provides the opportunity to have the most skilled experts execute this important task. Like any service, however, professional LBR has limitations that can keep it from yielding the maximum value – specifically, it doesn’t normally leverage specialized technology to improve results.

That’s why ELM Solutions is pleased to introduce the LegalVIEW® BillAnalyzer service, which represents the next step in the evolution of LBR. Technology yields the greatest benefits when paired with the knowledge and experience of skilled people. The value of LegalVIEW BillAnalyzer comes from both advanced machine learning technology and dedicated bill analysts whose sole task is to ensure that submitted invoices are in compliance.

The huge amount of data in the LegalVIEW data warehouse, over $85 billion in actual legal invoices, provides the foundation for BillAnalyzer’s cutting edge artificial intelligence functionality. Machine learning is most effective when it can draw on massive data stores to make comparisons and predictions. Using data about adjustments, appeals, and other invoice and matter information, the solution intelligently determines the probability that each line item will generate an adjustment. It then sends invoices to our expert bill analysts who take the next steps in the exhaustive review process.

These are professionals with the experience to identify issues that are sometimes missed in an in-house bill review process. Thanks to the technology used in the LegalVIEW BillAnalyzer service, they can work at peak efficiency and provide data-driven insights about non-compliance, making recommendations on improving both billing guidelines and law firm relationships.

How Outsourcing Helps

Engaging an external vendor for LBR frees in-house claims and legal professionals to focus on their core areas of expertise, which is beneficial to both the company and individual employees. It provides a better understanding of the work law firms are doing, whether that work is reasonable, and if the right person did it. And with LegalVIEW BillAnalyzer, because analysts are responsible for contacting firms about issues with their billing practices, they take potential strain out of the client/law firm relationship.

Along with timelier invoice review, the solution drives improved outside counsel billing practices by providing detailed information about exactly which billing agreement clauses were violated. Analysts who have vast experience with the billing guidelines of many clients, along with machine learning that uses regularly updated historical review data and patterns, enable LegalVIEW BillAnalyzer to help meet client business goals and achieve better compliance.

A Dedicated Invoice Team

Ultimately, LegalVIEW BillAnalyzer increases the efficiency, accuracy and consistency of the billing process. Analysts are not concerned with other legal management responsibilities and are tasked exclusively with careful review of every invoice line item. In addition, explaining billing expectations to law firms opens up communications and drives the value firms deliver.

Customers who have already signed on for LegalVIEW BillAnalyzer have seen improvements in their outside counsel billing guideline compliance, with average legal fee savings of 6 to 9 percent, and sometimes more. In addition, the added efficiency means that their in-house attorneys can now focus more fully on their legal work, knowing that their former bill review responsibilities are in expert hands.

Claims and legal departments with a high volume of invoices would do well to consider contracting a professional LBR service engagement. Even those with well-tuned ELM systems and processes can recognize significant benefits, as we can demonstrate via ELM Solutions’ client-specific Proof of Concept. My next post will cover this process, which uses a client’s own invoice data to show exactly how much they could save with LegalVIEW BillAnalyzer. For some, stepping up bill review may be the key to making sure they are getting all of the value that their ELM system can offer.

Learn more about how LegalVIEW BillAnalyzer can help improve billing guideline compliance and cost management.