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Nabarro law firm charges clients up to £100 for time they spend on the toilet

  • Nabarro instructed lawyers to record any break of up to six minutes
  • Outrageous policies have been leaked to legal website RollOnFriday
  • One lawyer admitted he had billed clients for time spent in the bath 

Alex Matthews For Mailonline

A law firm is charging clients up to £100 for the time their staff spend on the toilet

A law firm is charging clients up to £100 for the time their staff spend on the toilet

A law firm is charging clients up to £100 for the time their staff spend on the toilet.

The outrageous time-recording policy of Nabarro instructs its team to charge for any break of up to six minutes, on the basis that their lawyers are always thinking about work.

The policy was leaked to legal forum RollOnFriday and said: ‘Short Breaks: Any short break, eg a coffee break, of up to 6 minutes should still be recorded to the matter you are currently working on, on the basis that you would still be thinking about it.’

Lawyers on social media have confirmed that the practice is far from unique while cracking jokes about billing clients for ‘s*** advice’.

Recent research revealed that partners at leading London commercial firms now bill clients as much as £1,000 an hour.

A partner’s six minute toilet break could therefore cost a client up to £100.

Another website popular with lawyers, Legal Cheek, asked its readers whether such policies are ‘taking the p***’.

Lawyers have also been debating online whether they are so dedicated that they do actually think about work during short breaks – rather than gossiping or using Tinder like many other workers.

One lawyer was said to have billed all 24 hours in a day, including bathroom breaks, on the basis he was so stressed that he thought about his deal ‘every second’ that he was on the toilet.

Nabarro told its team to charge for any short break including when they pop out for a coffee (file photo)

Nabarro told its team to charge for any short break including when they pop out for a coffee (file photo)

Another revealed: ‘I know a solicitor who recorded time for when he was in the bath thinking about clients.’

A third commented: ‘We all know it. We all include our time for wandering to the copier or swinging by the coffee machine on the way back to our desks.’

One wag commented: ‘My mate at Nabarro’s said he was flush. I see what he means now’.

Another asked: ‘Does that mean Nabarro’s lawyers give s*** advice?’

And yet another wondered: ‘Do Nabarro also charge clients for the time their lawyers spend stuck in the lifts?’  

 

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SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Announces the Filing of a Class Action against SolarCity Corporation and Certain Officers – SCTY

NEW YORK, Oct. 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against SolarCity Corporation (“SolarCity” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:SCTY) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, Northern District of California, and docketed under 16-cv-05806, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired SolarCity securities between May 5, 2015 and February 9, 2016, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”). This class action seeks to recover damages against Defendants for alleged violations of the federal securities laws under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). 

If you are a shareholder who purchased SolarCity securities during the Class Period, you have until October 14, 2016 to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll free, ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and number of shares purchased. 

[Click here to join this class action]

SolarCity provides solar energy systems for commercial and residential use. The Company sells solar energy systems directly to customers, and offers financing. SolarCity also sells solar power lease contracts whereby the Company absorbs the cost of the solar panels and installation, but charges the customer for the power produced by the solar energy system.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) demand for the Company’s products was weakening; (ii) the Company was concealing the weakening demand from investors; and (iii) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ statements about SolarCity’s business, operations, and prospects, were false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

On October 29, 2015, the Company announced in its Q3 2015 quarterly letter to investors that it was lowering its full year 2015 guidance, stating “we are estimating installations of 280 to 300 MW in the fourth quarter. . . . This is below the low end of our prior annual guidance . . . .” The Company further announced that it was lowering its target growth rate for fiscal year 2016 from 70% down to 41%. SolarCity also disclosed that MW Booked for the quarter was 345 MW, down from 395 MW Booked in Q2 2015.

On this news, the Company’s stock price fell $8.42 per share, or 22%, to close at $29.65 on October 30, 2015, on unusually heavy trading volume.

On February 9, 2016, the Company issued its quarterly investor letter for Q4 2015. Therein, the Company disclosed that it fell short of its previously issued fiscal year 2015 installation guidance. On February 10, 2016, the Company filed its Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal year 2015. Therein, the Company disclosed that it would no longer report its Nominal Contracted Payments metric. The Company also reported cumulative energy contracts quarter-to-quarter growth and cumulative customer quarter-to-quarter growth that fell far below the previously reported trend.

On this news, the Company’s stock price fell $7.72 per share, or 29%, to close at $18.63 on February 10, 2016, on unusually heavy trading volume.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and Los Angeles, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com

/EIN News/ —

CONTACT:
                    Robert S. Willoughby
                    Pomerantz LLP
                    rswilloughby@pomlaw.com


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5 Tips For Improving Law Firm Profitability

We’re now into the fourth quarter of 2016, and we all know what that means in Biglaw: time to start collecting from clients. Those Hamptons homes (and associate bonuses) won’t fund themselves, after all.

So now’s a good time to talk about law firm profitability, the subject of an interesting panel discussion I attended at the Thomson Reuters Law Firm Leaders Forum called “A Comprehensive Update on Law Firm Financial Performance & Metrics.” It featured the following panelists:

Beau Grenier (moderator), Chairman, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP David Gaulin, Partner, Law Firm Services Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP William Josten, Senior Analyst, Client Relations & Thought Leadership, Thomson Reuters Elizabeth A. Sharrer, Partner & Firm Chair, Holland & Hart LLP Ted Tinson, Chief Operating Officer, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Beau Grenier opened the discussion by noting that back in the day, law firm profitability was simply a matter of working the hours. That’s no longer the case today; in this challenging climate, law firms need to be more knowledgeable about their operations and have better systems for tracking productivity and profitability.

What can law firms do to make themselves more profitable in a highly competitive environment with little to no demand growth? Here are a few ideas that emerged over the course of the discussion.

1. Realization, realization, realization.

To paraphrase the 1992 election slogan, “It’s the realization rate, stupid.” Law firms need to bill a higher percentage of worked hours and collect on a higher percentage of billed hours if they want to maximize profits.

Bill Josten, a law firm profitability specialist at Thomson Reuters, described the results of a study that TR conducted to compare financially successful firms (the “haves”) and financially struggling firms (the “have-nots”). He described some surprising findings about factors that did not dictate law firm profitability, including billing rates, geography, and market segment (e.g., an Am Law 100 firm versus an Am Law Second Hundred Firm). In other words, there are many paths to profitability as a law firm; you don’t have to be, say, Am Law 100 firm based in New York City with sky-high billing rates.

So what did make a difference in financial performance? Realization rates — how much of worked time got billed, and how much of billed time got collected — played a big role. Nudging up realization rates by just a few points can mean millions for some firms.

What can be done to improve realization rates? Law firms come up with all sorts of strategies, including rewards or punishments for timely entry of time. But at the end of the day, according to Ted Tinson of Sheppard Mullin, it’s mainly a matter of discipline. Some firms are just more disciplined than others about sending out bills on time.

Elizabeth Sharrer added that it’s important to educate your timekeepers about why time entry matters. At Holland & Hart, partners talk to associates about the business of law — which many firms fail to do — and the importance of factors like realization rates. “We want them to think like owners,” she said.

2. Have the right mix of timekeepers.

Comparing the “have” and “have-not” firms, Bill Josten noted that the “have” firms have a higher percentage of associates among their timekeepers. At “have” firms, 39 percent of timekeepers are associates, compared to 35 percent at “have-not” firms.

Associates are some of the most profitable timekeepers at a firm. Beau Grenier said that Bradley Arant enjoys a 40 percent profit margin on associates, compared to just 16 percent on non-equity partners. (Non-equity partners, who generally have higher salaries and lower billables than associates, are some of the least profitable timekeepers at a firm — sometimes even less profitable to the firm than paralegals.)

3. Attorney retention: it’s a thing again.

Josten pointed out that many firms don’t have enough senior associates — some of the most profitable timekeepers at a firm — because they either laid off too many lawyers during the recession or cut back on hiring too much. Now that the business climate has improved, attorney retention is an issue once again for firms (as it was during the pre-recession period).

In one recent survey conducted by Thomson Reuters, law firm respondents said that entry-level hiring was one of their top priorities. This surprised the TR team at first — they expected lateral hiring to be a bigger priority — but it reflects the desire of many firms to train their lawyers from the beginning and grow headcount organically. The general trend in entry-level hiring, per Josten, is to bring in fewer lawyers but retain them at a higher rate; if you’re going to invest so much in your lawyers, you don’t want to lose so many of them after a few short years.

At Holland & Hart, the firm is working on creating valued career paths that don’t necessarily include partnership, according to Elizabeth Sharrer. It has intentionally tightened up its partnership ranks (a general trend in the law firm world), but at the same time, it has tried to do as much as it can to retain talented attorneys who might not want partnership. It has done this through a strong commitment to pro bono, as well as bonuses and mini-sabbaticals for lawyers of a certain seniority. (The firm’s geographic focus on the Mountain West helps on the recruiting and retention front; Sharrer observed that Denver and Colorado are hugely popular with millennials.)

4. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

In their study, Josten and his colleagues at Thomson Reuters compared expense growth at “have” versus “have-not” firms. One might expect the financially thriving firms to keep a tighter lid on expenses, but that’s not what TR’s study found. In 2015, the average firm saw about 3 percent grown in expenses, while the thriving firms had above-average expense growth, in the 4-5 percent range.

Josten’s takeaway: successful firms are willing to spend in order to grow. In terms of where they are spending their money, the “have” firms have beefed up their budgets for recruiting and marketing/business development.

One can see the logic here. Law is a talent-driven business, so one shouldn’t skimp on recruiting (or on lawyer compensation, including associate salaries and bonuses). And in a low-demand environment, marketing and biz dev are key to getting a larger slice of a static or shrinking pie. David Gaulin of PWC stressed that client relationships are more important than ever — so if you have to pay to fly out and see a client or take a client out to dinner, that’s marketing money well-spent.

5. Don’t ignore the importance of culture.

Beau Grenier closed the discussion by raising the issue of culture, citing studies showing that higher workplace morale and motivation can increase productivity and profitability. He asked the panelists if they agreed and, if so, what can be done to strengthen a firm’s culture.

Not surprisingly, the panel members agreed that culture is key. Elizabeth Sharrer emphasized that a law firm can’t be held together just by money; lawyers need to enjoy working and spending time with each other. To that end, Holland & Hart gladly pays to send partners on multi-day trips so they can bond with each other over activities like fly fishing. These trips can cost a few thousand dollars a person, but given the increased cooperation and cross-selling they promote, they’re totally worth it. (See tip four above about spending money to make money.)

An important component of culture is making sure the firm has an open and flexible approach to staffing and talent management. David Gaulin praised Davis Polk’s new alumni rehiring program, in which lawyers who previously worked at DPW for three or more years before leaving the legal profession for at least two years can reapply for associate-level positions. He also said that law firms could learn a thing or two from his employer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, which gives employees the flexibility to ramp up and scale down in the workplace depending on what else is going on in their lives. For example, PWC has one program where employees can receive 20 percent of their compensation and retain full benefits while they take time off to deal with family responsibilities.

Culture isn’t just a buzzword to toss around during recruiting season. It is, as Elizabeth Sharrer put it, “a business imperative.”

21st Annual Law Firm Leaders Forum [Thomson Reuters]

Earlier: The Sad Truth One Stat Reveals About The Legal Industry
The Two Faces of K&L Gates

David Lat is the founder and managing editor of Above the Law and the author of Supreme Ambitions: A Novel. You can connect with David on Twitter (@DavidLat), LinkedIn, and Facebook, and you can reach him by email at dlat@abovethelaw.com.

(c) 2016 Breaking Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info)., source Middle East & North African Newspapers


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US law firm files class action lawsuit against Cognizant


Chennai, October 6:  

Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm in the US, has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of Cognizant Technology Solutions’ Security from February 25, 2016, through September 30, 2016.

The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Cognizant investors under federal securities laws, according to information on Law Firm’s Web site.

The action follows the September 30, 2016 announcement by Cognizant that it is conducting an internal investigation into whether certain payments relating to facilities in India were made improperly and in possible violation of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other applicable laws.

Cognizant said it voluntarily notified the US Department of Justice and US Securities and Exchange Commission and is cooperating with both agencies.

On the same day, the company announced the resignation of its its President, Gordon Coburn.

Following this news, Cognizant’s stock dropped as much as $9.43 per share, or 17.15 per cent, to $45.57 on the Nasdaq during intra-day trading on September 30, 2016. On September 30, in a single day, nearly $4.4 billion in Cognizant’s market capital was wiped out after the investigation was announced. The scrip has slowly clawed back and closed at $50.90 on October 5 with a market cap of $30.70 billion.

Some other law firms, including Faruqi & Faruqi, Khang & Khang, Levi & Korsinsky, Johnson & Weaver, LLP and Goldberg Lawin, have said that they are investigating potential securities fraud in Cognizant, according to information provided by these companies to news wires.

Cognizant’s spokesperson declined to comment. The company had earlier said in a Form 8-k filing to the US SEC that the internal investigation is at an early stage, and that it is not able to predict what action, if any, could be taken by the DOJ, SEC or any governmental authority or the effect of the matter on the company’s results of operations, cash flows or financial position.

The US-based software company has over 75 per cent of its 2.5 lakh employees located in India.

(This article was published on October 6, 2016)

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The Tweet That Launched a Law Firm

“All right slaves, get back to work.”

Shocked? That was a real quote used by a real lawyer at a real law firm.

Yondi Morris-Andrews was sitting at a table, working on a document review in 2012, when she heard the partner utter those words. She was the only black person in the room and he was addressing a number of attorneys, so it wasn’t a racial thing, but the utterance definitely made her uneasy.

“I looked around because I assumed that someone would say something,” says Morris-Andrews, of Chicago. “I knew then that that culture was not for me and that I wasn’t just offended because I was a black person. It offended me that it didn’t offend anyone else. I knew I needed to get out.”


Jessica B. Reddick, Yondi Morris-Andrews, and Keli L. Knight run the KMR Law Group.