Cost-conscious clients are challenging law firms to manage projects better, improve efficiencies, control costs and assure quality. They want the right people doing the right things the right way at the best possible cost, and as quickly as possible.
We have adapted to the needs of clients by employing a reimagined business model. Underpinning our model is a client-centric, more efficient and agile client engagement model facilitating our ability to deliver expertise and resources.
The model ensures that we provide clients what they want from their lawyers: excellent service, reasonable time frames, reasonable pricing, transparency and predictability. By consistently doing more for less, we offer a very attractive value proposition to clients.
Unlike the traditional big law firm model, our approach is not premised on leveraging high cost junior attorneys. Instead, we leverage knowledge and know how through the use advanced technology solutions and legal practice management and utilize a low overhead cost platform to deliver exceptional services to clients at a cost far below comparably qualified firms.
Technology and Platform
At Flatiron, we have built and continue to improve our next generation lawyer workspace, constructed entirely using an open architecture, seamlessly integrating best in breed cloud-based tools, applications and other resources resulting in measurable efficiency gains, better collaboration and outstanding work product. Our lawyers and other professionals can access our platform from any device, at any time, from anywhere in the world.
Our approach does not require us to invest heavily to acquire fixed assets of customized infrastructure and the consequent ongoing support and maintenance like the big law firms. Instead, we rely on vast and growing XaaS infrastructure and application offerings to deliver a highly secure, infinitely flexible and always available system at a fraction of the historical cost of such platforms. Due to our experience in handling technology transactions over the past 3+ decades, and our expertise in technology development and utilization, we have creatively produced a unique configuration of these commodity systems, tied through open APIs to deliver an extraordinary powerful, adaptable and flexible working platform that is revolutionary in the legal industry.
Our client-facing technology combined with our internal knowledge management system, enhances the ability of lawyers to search internal data, prepare documents and generate better reporting, while at the same time avoiding duplication and learning curve costs.
Innovative and creative implementation of technology significantly reduces the fixed overhead of the firm. It allows lawyers and other staff to work at our clients' offices, from our resource centers or in a virtual environment anywhere in the world, always facilitating collaboration. Our technology also enables our team of lawyers, all of whom are senior, experienced practitioners, to function without the aid of expensive junior lawyers still climbing the learning curve.
Flatiron technology makes it easier for the firm to pull in additional lawyers as needed so we can continue to serve you best. This in turn allows the firm to facilitate cooperation over large distances, breaking down knowledge barriers by building firm learning and improving knowledge management, including the collection, collation and distribution of information and the generation of work product within short time periods.
For Flatiron, it's all about going the extra mile for our clients, consistently and reliably.
The legal industry is knowledge based. Firms use legal knowledge to help clients achieve business objectives while considering legal dimensions and assessing legal risk. Most firms have been slow to embrace innovation in the capture, updating, processing and delivery of that knowledge to clients.
Flatiron uses technology-enabled knowledge management systems to obtain, document and deliver that knowledge, allowing lawyers to produce legal advice that goes beyond their personal knowledge. This knowledge is generated by experienced lawyers of the firm and other experts and third-party publishers. Our systems bring lawyers from content to tools to productivity.
Our KM systems are comprehensive, allowing the capturing of knowledge and expertise and making it identifiable, searchable and retrievable by lawyers across the firm, and extends to systems that assist in generating the final work product. Making knowledge available in faster and less expensive ways allows Flatiron to offer clients lower pricing.
Legal Process Management
Flatiron has adopted legal process management (LPM) to facilitate the predictable delivery of high-quality legal services in an efficient and timely manner within set budgets. The firm embraces not only technology but changes in the way work is done and monitors key metrics during and after implementation of a client matter.
Our goal is to work efficiently and predictably to meet the more-for-less challenge by defining the most efficient approach for each element that comprises a legal matter.
LPM requires a proactive approach defining, planning, executing and assessing legal matters to meet clients' and Flatiron's desired objectives and expectations. We invest significant resources and expertise to optimize our processes and help our lawyers to achieve the right balance of quality and efficiency for clients.
We pride ourselves in listening to our clients and then designing a process-driven solution that fits clients' needs. Our approach sets the stage for understanding the work, finding ways to be more efficient and then price the work accurately.
Our tools include technology-enabled systems that combine process maps, document templates, document generation and proprietary dashboards. Those tools allow the firm to optimize the system of inputs (or supply chain) and concentrate on the steps in the chain where we are best able to add value.
Our core competencies are knowledge, business savvy, technical expertise and process management skills unmatched by competitors. We work with clients to understand their needs, define the work and determine how to best provide timely and high-quality inputs crucial to the delivery of superior services at a competitive price.
In addition to partners and employees of the firm, other options we employ in delivering our legal services to clients include insourcing, outsourcing and use of a captive entity for technology and work process improvements.
The insourced lawyers we hire are known to us, and all graduated from distinguished law schools and worked as partners or senior lawyers at major firms. Insourced lawyers and other professionals are a variable cost allowing the firm to match our supply of talent to client demand. In other words, the use of insource lawyers reduces fixed costs (and the amount we are required to bill to clients) by allowing the firm to pay for work for clients on an as-needed basis.
Flatiron also hires other law firms to provide specialized legal advice, for example, in taxation and estates. Where external counsel is hired, Flatiron first confirms with clients the scope of responsibility. We typically generate a single bill for clients showing the work of the other law firm as a line item on the bill (with no markup) and provide clients with the necessary backup details for the work performed.
Flatiron recognizes that for some types of work, added low cost labor is needed to perform routine or repetitive tasks, supported by our technology, where appropriate. In those instances when human resources are the most efficient method to produce the requisite quality product required we utilize Legal Services Outsourcing (LSO) companies. We establish strategic partnerships with third-party legal service providers to work either directly with the client or client general counsel or in a tripartite relationship with both the client and its outside counsel. In all cases, the outsourcing goal is to improve efficiency and delivery times while maintaining (and depending on the type of work, improving) the quality of the work.
To manage quality control in the use of LSOs, documentation entered into by Flatiron and the LSO ensures a shared understanding of respective roles. Quality control encompass both risk management and commercial elements. Flatiron maintains control and makes sure the firm always has the precise information needed to manage the legal matter overall except as may otherwise be agreed by Flatiron and the client.
We strive in every engagement to generate an integrated sourcing mix that delivers the desired end-result at the best possible cost to the client, always ensuring a positive client experience meeting or exceeding expectations.
We offer clients predictable, transparent and value-based billing.
We recognize that you expect and demand cost consciousness from your lawyers. For us, being cost conscious means always acting as if the client's money were our own, by doing the right job, no more, no less, as efficiently as possible. We've been there before, so we look under the right stones rather than leaving no stone unturned.
Cost consciousness also means communicating estimates at the start of a matter and seeking approval any time when a material change occurs or when there is a mismatch between budget and billing, so the client knows the basis for charges.
Our pricing strategies are based on an informed assessment of your expectations and constraints. We like to have a meaningful dialogue with clients about price, with a focus on assessing client- and matter-specific factors and goals and the potential for more efficient resource allocation. This leads to pricing aligned to client goals.
Flatiron offers alternative billing arrangements (ABAs) to clients. ABAs include fixed fees, bonus or holdbacks around client-defined metrics, outcome-based fees and retainers. We invest in pricing capabilities -- people, process and technology -- to allow us to deliver ABA pricing that is both profitable and competitive -- and leverage this capability as a competitive advantage. In effect, we leverage an efficient operating model by using the fewest units/hours of production to deliver the highest quality legal work.
ABAs also provide an opportunity to share risk and improve cooperation with clients in ways that foster long-term relationships that go beyond individual matters.
For complex matters, Flatiron works with clients to break down the work into stages or segments and costs each one. Different potential outcomes may require different routes as the next stage of work is priced. This leads to a deeper analysis of the work to be done and how best to accomplish it.
We encourage our clients to explore billing arrangements that suit their needs and let them benefit from efficiencies and lower-cost structure we bring to every matter.
Our goal always is to provide clients with the highest-quality advice and assistance on flexible terms unmatched by most firms of similar capability.