Merger creates costs and pricing consultancy

Burcher: lawyers do not like talking about money

Well-known costs firm Jennings has merged with pricing consultancy Validatum with a guarantee that client firms will see an improvement in their profitability and cash flow.

Burcher Jennings has put together a high-profile advisory board to support the new venture, whose members include Professors Dominic Regan and Stephen Mayson.

Richard Burcher, formerly a leading New Zealand lawyer who in the last couple of years has made his name in London as a legal services pricing consultant through his company Validatum, is chairman of the new venture.

He said: “Lawyers do not like talking about money and this compounds their lack of confidence in deciding how to price their services. Most lack the know­‐how to offer pricing and payment choices and don’t have the negotiation skills to deal with aggressive procurement.

“Burcher Jennings overcomes these issues with onsite pricing training, pricing templates and guidelines, negotiation and pitch training, assistance on budgets and estimates, simplified client care documents and advice on pricing individual cases.

“We can guarantee firms will see an immediate improvement in their profitability and cash flow and fewer client complaints.’

Chief executive Martyn Jennings said that in the light of costs budgeting, “the traditional offering is no longer sufficient – law firms need to have a complete suite of pricing and payment options. The coming together of our two companies will allow us to evolve with the developing market and offer services at the forefront of the sector.”

Professor Regan said: “This is just what judges want to see – some pricing maturity and discipline. I am keen and excited to be involved in these changes, which strike me as just as important as the Jackson reforms.”

Professor Mayson added: “Pricing for value is, to my mind, one of the most critical challenges for providers of legal services at the moment. The need to understand value – from a client’s perspective – and the ability to construct an appropriate pricing offer are now key attributes of a modern practitioner.”

Also on the advisory board are Robert Camp, managing partner of south-west firm Stephens Scown, and 4 New Square costs barrister Ben Williams.

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