Page 15 - PIC-Magazine-Issue-22-Spring-Summer
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    It bears repeating, costs take a long time to resolve. It is not unheard of for some matters to take years.
TTL+ takes an immediate Great White
Shark bite out of this time with an incredibly simple innovation. Move costs to the outset and throughout, incrementally working on your file, providing regular costs figures, calculations and estimates, ongoing advice regarding file management, and sense checking those issues that can cause headaches at the end, when they cannot be rectified, such as retainers. Then, when you are ready for your Bill, or you wish a JSM Schedule, or a figure to allow a global offer to be considered, a figure is there, accurate, and even the largest Bill would be ready in
a fraction of the time you currently tolerate. In one swoop, the weeks and months waiting for your Bill are removed.
You will also enjoy increased confidence in your costs as you have seen them develop. You will have confidence in your file, as
any pitfalls have been ironed out long ago, identified before they become unfixable.
You will know what your recovery bracket
is, you will understand it, and you will have confidence in it, because the person who
has prepared this has lived with your file for almost as long as you have. They are not just stepping in at the end, relying on the skeleton of a case to understand the ebb and flow
of the issues, they have experienced this as the case progressed. This insight is crucial to ensuring any costs claim is presented in the most effective way.
Costs are expensive. TTL+ works to drive down the cost of the costs because it is established on an understanding of how costs really work. At the end of a case, your costs lawyer arrives at your case fresh, they may have some understanding from having worked on the budget, if relevant, but for the most part they have no knowledge about your case or the issues, they do not know your client or the effort you have gone to over the life of this matter. They begin on page 1 and laboriously begin to convert your documents into a Bill. This is painstaking,
it demands concentration and focus, and it takes time. They will follow the thread, try
to ensure that every key decision is justified, try to reflect the evidence and issues within the Bill, but they are absorbing a tremendous amount of information that is still only a snapshot of what you have done, trying to distil it into a tightly drawn document that justifies and supports each item and decision, and all the time they are acutely aware that you want paid and paid fairly, so you want this done as quickly as possible and to a high quality. All of these competing challenges – accuracy, efficiency, quality – vie for attention and balancing them is what takes the time. No Excel spreadsheet will fix this.
However, incremental costing massively alleviates or removes these burdens. The drafter will know and understand your case as they have helped shape the documents upon which you will rely, flagging those confusing notes, liaising with you on the issues at the point they are developing and fresh in everyone’s mind (raising a further point that, at the end, how much can you recall of each and every item of work you undertook over the preceding years, and how do you react when, at the end, your costs lawyer lists all of those entries that make no sense and you cannot now answer).
Your drafter can absorb manageable sections of the case quickly, there is no time pressure as the case continues and you still have your file; they can focus on quality, on ensuring each and every item is properly justified, and they can concentrate on ensuring that your claim for costs is, at
any point, 100% reflective of the issues. Improved accuracy, quality and efficiency, which will all feed into more efficient costs claims and when it comes time to turn this into cash flow, improved outcomes.
Cash flow, of course, is incredibly important to ensure you can provide the invaluable services you do. Leaving costs until the end and waiting months may have been workable once, but it is unsustainable now. You must take steps to secure payments on account of costs, and these are much more easily secured when you have access to a reliable and accurate costs figure, and a document to rely on in support.
TTL+ also allows us to ensure budgets can be prepared at short notice with no loss of quality or content, and we can then, as part of TTL+, incrementally review your file and spend against any existing CMO, which means any budget management is forensic and current, allowing you to be more proactive in seeking to amend, or allowing you to react sooner and faster when a phase is imperilled.
However, TTL+ is much more than speeding up your Bill or Budget, facilitating payment or managing your approved spend. It also provides
a rolling and evolving outcome bracket, which not only allows you to manage your costs proactively, but it also allows you to manage your own client’s knowledge and expectations should you ultimately be put into a position whereby some shortfall is due from them.
How can we do this now but not before? As we opened with above, historically costs existed in an analogue world of paperwork, and what solicitor would allow their live file to leave the office once, let alone several times? How could a costs draftsman manage hundreds of part-costed matters simultaneously? Technology has evolved at an incredible rate in the last decade, and even more so in the last few years when the industry had to adapt to lockdowns and a surge in remote working.
Files are digital now. PIC has recognised the need to transform how
the costs industry works. We have invested, and continue to invest, in the latest technology to allow us to bring costs into the digital era from seamless file sharing, forward-thinking case management developments, and costing software which, coupled with TTL+, will revolutionise
how costs services are provided via the simple and elegant decision to move costs from the end to where they need to be, the beginning and throughout.
Lastly, probably your first question. What does it cost? TTL+ exists within our existing terms, it is the same service we have always provided, simply moved from the end to the beginning and throughout and benefiting from this to expand its usefulness to you. It costs nothing more than if you waited until the end and instructed us to prepare a Bill. The service has evolved and improved, but the fee has not changed. We are not changing what we do, we are changing how we do it.
If you want to know more about how TTL+ can help your firm, get in touch. We are excited to share this with you. Spring & Summer 2024

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