Legal Cheek talks… crazy billable hours targets

The tactics firms use to whip their lawyers into shape, and whether they work

It’s no secret lawyers work long days but — across the City — firms are becoming more creative in their approach to policing solicitors’ hours.

Legal Cheek journalists Tom Connelly and Katie King reflect on recent developments at Howard Kennedy, DLA Piper and Nabarro, and question whether “shaming” lawyers is ever in firms’ best interests.

In other news, it’s six days and counting until the High Court will hear one of the most important constitutional cases of our generation. Watch our video above for a quick preview of what to expect, plus some other (pretty crazy) Brexit legal challenge developments.

35 Comments

Anonymous

OMG – they have even started to dress the same now.

Kiss her Thomas!

(20)(2)
Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(7)(4)
Trumpenrich

Lol, that comment had only a brief moment of glory before the cuck censor struck it down. Bunch of betas.

(0)(1)
Anonymous

I don’t think the presenters really understand the concept of chargeable hours and time recording targets.

It is important to differentiate between “chargeable hours” time and “non-chargeable” time.

If the firm policy is for fee earners to record at least 7 hours of time per day, and this is a mix of both chargeable and non-chargeable then it is perfectly reasonable for the firm to request its fee earner account for their time each day between, effectively 9am to 4pm. The firm needs to assess profitability and utilisation to run as a business and to ensure the work is evenly spread. If a fee earner is recording a couple of hours a day, what are they doing for the rest of the day?

It sounds like HK’s policy is ‘naming and shaming’ those fee earners who are slack at time recording as opposed to penalising people who are behind with their work.

It is all very easy. If you are only managing to hit 2 chargeable hours per day, then just record another 5 hours of “admin” time.

This video (and the LC story) doesn’t really get to, nor understand the point.

(9)(5)
Anonymous

Agreed.

Only recording 7 hours seems perfectly reasonable. It almost assumes the fee earner is doing a standard 9-5 job with a one hour uninterrupted lunch break (does such a thing exist?!)

If the firm required 7 chargeable hours a day – that is when there would be problems.

(9)(2)
Anonymous

You didn’t get the point, bro.

They want 5.6 of the 7 hours to be chargeable time.

(12)(0)
Anonymous

Yes, but the policy doesn’t bite on those billing less.

(2)(0)
Anonymous

Excellent comment. It’s pretty poor that Tom and Katy fail to grasp this distinction and proceed to drag the firms in question through the dirt regardless. What they are doing is not the norm, but it’s certainly not as awful as LC are making it out to be. In future LC should speak to some actual lawyers to get an idea of what these policies actually mean.

(7)(1)
Anonymous

Oh the outfits are a winner this week – well done guys

(4)(0)
Anonymous

5.6 chargeable per day adds up to less than 1,500 per year. This is a very generous target for London firm such as HK. If lawyers havent got the work, they should go looking/ask/scavenge/network for it.

(2)(3)
Anonymous

Sexist comment. If someone had described Katie as “the woman” there would be uproar.

(4)(1)
Zyzz

String cheese arms more like. Bet he doesn’t even do leg day.

Do you even lift brah?

(0)(6)
Tyrion

K King, you have a first from Bristol. You’re too good for this sh*t. If you can’t make it to the bar then get a tc. Unless this is your version of a gap yah.

(9)(5)
Tarquan Rah

The eternal gap yah you mean? She’s been at LC for like ten years.

(4)(0)
Tyrion

Woah, fanks bruh! Like i’ve never seen anyone intentionally make themselves less employable bruh.

(2)(0)
Tarquan Rah

I know right! Rah rah, gap yah is the bests, rah hah.

(0)(0)
Lyle of the Yute.

Much of lawyers’ billable work is done in toilets, aeroplanes, buses, hotels, etc.

It is unfortunate LC have no concept of this.
A firm that blocks a lawyer from using his or her computer shows 2 things:

They shall close down.

A lawyer will need a bank of at least 6 computers. It is unfortunate that LC and legal firms do not understand that.

Law students please have nothing to do with firms who only give you access to view one computer and then block it coz anal retentive.

LC kindly get a lawyer to comment please. You are misguiding young people.

(0)(8)
Anonymous

The guy on the right has done a day’s fee-earning in his life. WTF does he know?

(3)(0)
Anonymous

They should get someone in to comment who has actually billed 300 hours in a month, not people fresh out of uni with no meaningful legal practice experience.

(3)(2)
Anonymous

If you are billing 300 hours per month you are being overworked.

An average lawyer is more likely to bill 300 hours in 2 months.

(5)(1)
Anonymous

Reality is at times you’ll be doing those kind of hours at a lot of the US and MC firms. Don’t get £125k as an NQ for no reason…

(Also it kind of goes without saying that if you join a high paying City firm you can expect to be “overworked”)

(0)(2)
Sebastian

🎼 Shalla lalla lalla my oh my,
Look like da boy too shy,
He wanna kiss de girl…🎤

(2)(0)
Johnny

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)
Lord Lyle of Billingsgate

It is true that some lawyers , like my myoclonic convulsing friend of counsel actually refuse to bill any hours per month “on principle”. It is also true it is possible to bill a thousand hours a month. It is also true that no one in this thread appears to know anything about billing.

The sort of lawyer who bills 150 hours per month is called a “mushroom” in the profession. Any one know what a mushroom is?

(0)(0)
Lord Lyle of Billingsgate

For the benefit of law students, Admin staff do Admin. Lawyers do chargeable work only. If you discover a firm that expects you to do Admin work, run far far away.
So let us to recap:
1 .Mushroom firms that only allow you access one computer, which they block: run far far away.
2. Admin firms that actually get qualified lawyers to do Admin work: run far far away.

(0)(1)

Comments are closed.