POWER OF EFFICIENCY

Pepper understands client concerns about efficiency and cost certainty. We are national leaders in using project management tools, process improvement techniques, flexible and scalable staffing models, and innovative fee arrangements to drive greater efficiencies and deliver maximum value to clients for all types of legal matters, from the routine to the largest and most complex legal projects.

Our process is tailored to meet the needs of each client and each engagement. From the start of each engagement, our goal is to ensure that we deliver consistent, high-quality services, with increased efficiency, improved communications, and, whenever possible, lower overall costs. Our process mapping/process improvement and project management teams collaborate with clients to accurately define the scope of the engagement, document tasks and responsibilities, and deliver a plan and budget to achieve the client’s goals as efficiently as possible. We view our role not merely as an extension of the client’s organization, but as an integrated partner in legal strategy. 

Our project management and process improvement capabilities also lead to fee arrangements that reduce overall costs, improve predictability, share risks and align incentives, and deliver outstanding value. Whether through fixed fees, collared fees, success fees/holdbacks, budget forecasts, or any combination of approaches, we are experienced at crafting successful, win-win fee arrangements for all matters.  In fact, more than 50 percent of our litigation engagements are performed under a budget-based or non-hourly billing arrangement– well above the average for the legal profession. Throughout each engagement, clients have continual access to budget data – helping to avoid surprises and giving general counsel and other clients the information they need to understand and demonstrate the value of the work we’re providing.

Our alternative fee arrangements run the gamut: fixed, phased, retainer, portfolio, collared, success fee, contingent, capped, hybrid -- or just budget forecasting to provide accurate, timely legal spend amounts that may be accrued in the course of a matter. We have experience with more than 250 engagements involving AFAs for amounts ranging from thousands to tens of millions of dollars. From small to large, we have had significant success in bringing greater budget predictability and demonstrated value to our clients. We regularly use collared fee arrangements, and more than 90 percent of those engagements conclude within the collar. On longer-term, multi-year matters, we have a strong track record of managing fees that come within 1 percent of the agreed-upon amounts.

Managing fees and legal expenses is a shared management responsibility of the firm and the client. Our process for creating AFAs utilizes proven project management tools to help clients reduce costs and enhance predictability, improve representation, closely monitor progress and learn from past experiences. Our process includes the following initial steps:

  • Scope. The client and firm clearly define the goals and strategy for the engagement.
  • Tasks and Timelines. A list of all tasks needed to meet the agreed-upon goals and strategy, and when they need to be completed; this is continually updated by the client and the firm.
  • Budget and Forecasting. The goals / strategy, resources and the tasks and timelines drive the budget and anticipated costs for the engagement. The budget is continually monitored throughout the engagement so that the client and the firm can manage the matter against the forecasted budget and adjust it as needed.

We also use technology to practice more efficiently and effectively. Technology helps ensure that clients can collaborate seamlessly with Pepper, anywhere and anytime, safely and securely – including providing near real-time access to billing information, allowing for better matter management and avoiding surprises. Our Information Technology Department also develops custom databases and other applications as needed, including case/deal rooms and other tools to meet specific client needs. And in litigation matters, we use technology to manage discovery, often the most expensive aspect of litigation, more efficiently and effectively. The dedicated attorneys and specialists of Pepper’s innovative Discovery Services Practice Group have the substantive, practical and technological expertise to help clients navigate the e-discovery landscape in an efficient, cost-effective and defensible manner.

Pepper’s Legal Project Management (LPM) team brings additional value to our planning and monitoring processes and an understanding of clients’ need for scalable approaches to projects. LPM is a collaborative process involving the client, our lawyers and our project managers all working together. Pepper's LPM team concentrates on improving efficiencies through shared management responsibilities, strengthening communication and making value transparent. Our project managers collaborate with attorneys and clients on the critical tasks that help steer the engagement to completion in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. The LPM team also helps clients and our lawyers to accurately assess the scope and goals of the case or project; prepare tasks and timelines; prepare budgets and communication plans; and assist with reporting and after-action reviews (AARs). Our dedicated team includes seasoned legal project managers experienced in numerous process improvement programs, including Lean Six Sigma. We share what we learn from our project management and process improvement experience with clients – so that all of us continue to improve the work we do and how we do it.