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Legal pricing seminar

Date: 21st January 2020

Time: 09:00 - 13:10

Law Society of Scotland
Atria One
144 Morrison Street

CPD Hours: 3hours 30minutes

This seminar will address the key trends in legal pricing, offering you advice on how to set your prices, calculate costs and keep up-to-date with radical developments in the way clients pay for legal services.

3.5 hours verifiable CPD

A significant number of legal complaints are linked to cost issues. With greater transparency, and a greater clarity of what solicitors are billing clients for and why, expensive and drawn-out complaints processes can be avoided. That being said, better pricing strategies isn’t just about avoiding risk for firms: more intelligent pricing can bring your firm more work while increasing efficiency, and greater clarity can increase the confidence and satisfaction of your clients.

This seminar will address the key trends in legal pricing, offering you advice on how to set your prices, calculate costs and keep up-to-date with radical developments in the way clients pay for legal services.

Learning outcomes

At this seminar you will:

  • Find out how to set a fair price for the services you provide
  • Understand client needs and expectations
  • Discuss the implications of price transparency for the legal profession
  • 09:00 - 09:20

    Registration and refreshments
  • Speaker
    Austin Lafferty

    Austin is a solicitor, broadcaster, journalist and artist, who has worked in general practice since 1981 and currently runs his own multi-branch firm around Glasgow.

    He was elected vice president of the Law Society in May 2011 and took over the presidency in May 2012, and is now a past president of the Society.

    Austin has also worked in a variety of media roles, having been a radio and television presenter on numerous programmes. Austin is a newspaper columnist who has written extensively on legal matters. He has also authored It’s The Law!, which is a handbook on Scots Law for citizens, published in 2004. For leisure he is a 4th dan karate black belt, has run marathons, and is a portrait artist (people and pets mainly).

  • 09:30 - 10:10

    Pricing strategies, for greater profit and happier clients

    • What mistakes are firms making and how can they be avoided?
    • How should you value the services you are providing?
    • What do clients want and how can you meet their expectations?


    Richard Allen

    Richard has over 35 years’ unique litigation, legal costs and practice management experience, being one of the first to achieve Costs Lawyer status and make partner in a solicitor’s practice.
    He is a founding non-executive director of the Costs Lawyer Standards Board and an accredited mediator and coach.
    Richard has vast experience handling significant litigation and costs caseloads for major law firms, establishing and managing several litigation and costs departments nationally, including a top 50 practice, and having a central role managing a regional solicitors’ practice.
    Richard specialises in boosting profitability, focusing on pricing, costs and practice management, both in the UK and internationally. As an experienced trainer, he delivers Pricing and Costs Masterclasses and develops bespoke training programmes for clients.
    Richard is a senior consultant with Burcher Jennings and with Validatum, the leading international legal services pricing consultancy, as well as senior pricing consultant with Virtual Pricing Director, who are leading the world with technological solutions to pricing.

    10:10 - 10:20

    Questions and discussion

    10:20 - 11:00

    Calculating costs and setting prices

    • Producing best- and worst-case scenarios
    • Managing client expectations
    • Correlation between pricing and perceived quality of service

    Pauline Doohan

    Pauline is a leading consultant in law firm management.

    Pauline works at the highest level of the legal industry assisting law firms to reach their full potential by ensuring that strategic objectives are aligned with the organisational capability required to drive high performance.

    Pauline’s key area of focus in recent years has been in the area of law firm efficiency and she has authored publication, ‘Pricing for Legal Services’ a best practice guide to the profitable pricing and delivery of legal matters.

    She started her career as a lawyer and went on to specialise in legal management consultancy after completing a MBA in legal practice management.

    11:00 - 11:10

    Questions and discussion

  • 11:10 - 11:25

    Refreshments and networking
  • 11:25 - 12:05

    Price transparency guidance

    • Why we are introducing it
    • What it involves
    • What we hope people will do


    Philip Yelland

    Philip joined the Society in 1990 having previously been a solicitor in private practice in Edinburgh. Initially he worked in the Complaints Department and took charge of that department in 1991. In September 2006 he took over as the Director of Regulation, which covers the teams dealing with complaints, financial compliance/Guarantee Fund, interventions, Regulatory Committee and related policy matters, and the Civil Legal Quality Assurance regime. Philip is also heavily involved in work relating to the implementation of the Legal Services Act around the creation of licensed providers. Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, Philip worked in the civil service for four years.

    12:05 - 12:15

    Questions and discussion

    12:15 - 12:55

    Panel discussion: Developments in legal service funding

    • Crowdfunding
    • Self-funding
    • Fixed fee arrangements

    Cat MacLean

    Cat MacLean is a partner at MBM Commercial LLP and currently heads up their Dispute Resolution Team. Cat is the only solicitor to have won the prestigious title of “Solicitor of the Year” twice, at the Law Awards of Scotland in 2015 and 2012, having previously been short-listed for the award in 2010, and in 2016 led her team to victory in the Scott & Co Legal Awards, winning “Litigation Team of the Year”. She has law degrees in English and French Law from Leicester, and in Scots Law from Edinburgh, and holds a Diplome d’Etudes Juridiques Francaises from the Universite Robert Schumann in Strasbourg.

    Emma Reid trained at Morton Fraser LLP and qualified in 2006, following which she spent three years as a corporate solicitor with McGrigors LLP (now Pinsent Masons).  She then took the step to transfer to employment law and spent 5 years with ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan before setting up Ergo Law with colleague, Cathy Donald.  Emma’s experience has included representing employers and employees on many different workplace issues including managing founder exits, discrimination claims, redundancies, dismissals and contracts and policies.  Emma is also a regular speaker on a quarterly basis at ‘Edinburgh Birth and Baby’ events providing advice on maternity and pregnancy rights at work. In early 2019, Emma was appointed as a WES ambassador in recognition of her interest in and commitment to supporting female business owners.

    Cathy Donald trained at McGrigors LLP, now Pinsent Masons, and qualified in 2009.  She has specialised in employment law since qualification and, in January 2016, set up Ergo Law with friend and colleague, Emma Reid.  Cathy has experience in advising both large and small employer clients on a wide range of employment issues and she has appeared in the Employment Tribunal on behalf of major national organisations in unfair dismissal and discrimination claims.  In addition to her employer work, she also advises individuals in relation to settlement agreements and other aspects of the termination of employment, including restrictive covenants. 

    12:55 - 13:05

    Questions and discussion

    13:05 - 13:10

    Closing remarks and networking lunch


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