Article and photos by Shamine Parisamy, Legal Risk Junior Counsel, Bar Council Professional Indemnity Insurance and Risk Management Department
On 19 Oct 2018, the Professional Indemnity Insurance (“PII”) and Risk Management Department, under the direction of the PII Committee, organised the Billing & Collections workshop, which was held at the Abdullah A Rahman Auditorium, Johore Bar Committee Building.
Participants who attended the workshop were mainly staff from law firms. Out of the 14 participants who attended, four were Members of the Bar.
Abd Murad Che Chik of Messrs Zain, Megat & Murad kickstarted the workshop with his session entitled “Understanding Your Cost”. He highlighted and explained in great detail the relevant legislation that law firms should be aware of. He stressed that this is the very cornerstone of billing practices in law firms, and must be adhered to strictly. Participants were briefed on the factors that must be taken into account when it comes to billing a client, namely the importance of the matter; skill, specialised knowledge and the responsibility that are involved; complexity of the matter; value or amount of the money or property; number of documents perused; and time expended by the solicitor. He cautioned that fee collection determines the sustainability of a law firm, and law firms should never be found lacking in this area.
The next session for the day — entitled “Filing for Better Billing” — was conducted by Lam Chong Seng of Messrs CS Lam & Co, who stressed that a detailed letter of engagement must be prepared for every client engaged, and that it must be signed by the client. He then explained the importance of maintaining a proper file management system, and gave examples of suitable filing systems that should be adopted. On the topic of billing, he described thoroughly how law firms can develop policies and methods to ensure timely billing and fee collection at every stage of performance of work. According to him, this will ensure maximum revenue and excellent cash flow for the law firms.
The Billing & Collections workshop is a good platform for Members and staff of law firms who aim to administer or run a healthy and successful law firm. The feedback forms indicated that participants would recommend this workshop to others.
If you would like to attend the next Billing & Collections workshop, please contact the PII and Risk Management Department by telephone at 03–2032 4511 or by email at email@example.com.