According to the National Association of Legal Auditing (NALA), legal auditing is a litigation management practice and risk management tool, used by insurance and other consumers of legal services, to determine if hourly billing errors, abuses, and inefficiencies exist by carefully examining and identifying unreasonable attorney fees and expenses. Because the majority of corporate law firms charge clients on an hourly basis, and base attorney promotion and compensation almost entirely on the number of hours billed, rather than the results achieved for clients, lawyers and law firms have much incentive to bill as many hours as possible, and little incentive to work efficiently or to bill fewer hours. According to the California State Bar, most lawyers who block-bill their time inflate each client bill by 10-30 percent, and at the average national billing rate of $661 per hour (as of April 2012) that means that most big-firm lawyers overcharge clients anywhere from $150,000 to $400,000 each year.
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Some articles on legal auditing:
... Legal auditors conduct a detailed analysis of original time records, attorney work production, expenses and hourly rate benchmarks ... The purpose of a legal bill auditing is to save money for the insurance company and their clients ... Legal Bill Auditors may be responsible for monitoring the matter as it progresses for purposes of giving a second opinion in major cases or as a post-mortem ...
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