Forensic Auditing of Legal Bills: Investigating Historical Billing Issues

Forensic Analysis — Due Diligence — Private Disputes

Legal Fee Advisors’ highly skilled attorneys and legal fee analysts are experienced in performing impartial, careful, and confidential analysis of a firm’s historical billings and work product to determine if the client has been fairly billed for prior work performed, and paid. Our review determines adherence to legal, ethical and prevailing legal standards allowing the client to determine if further action is needed.

Clients that choose a forensic audit typically suspect that a firm may not have always been billing carefully and with integrity when billing descriptions are excessively vague or absent, where the resultant work is out of proportion to the billings, or where the time charged does not appear to be efficient. They are, however, unsure of what avenues they can take to correct these errors.

For many clients, a confidential, forensic investigation regarding prior billing practices is the answer. Most issues are resolved privately and confidentially.

Legal Fee Advisors can provide a free initial consultation to clients for the purpose of determining if a forensic audit is warranted, allowing us to provide an accurate estimate of the time and expense of the necessary work to be performed.

If requested, our team can also be available to negotiate an adjustment to past charges and create customized Billing Guidelines and Standards for future representation.

Case Studies

We have completed the following in-depth analyses, resulting in significant savings for our clients:

  • A client came to Legal Fee AdvisorsTM suspecting a firm’s fees were inaccurate and inflated. Our review of over $3 million in fees and expenses identified numerous contraventions of legal, ethical and commercial standards. We concluded the fees and expenses were inflated by over 50% and a seven-figure settlement was reached between our client and the firm.
  • In a large-scale insurance litigation involving over $16 million in fees and expenses of one firm alone, we were able to identify and recommend savings of approximately 54%. Issues identified by our team included fees for unrelated work that should not be borne by our client, significant descriptive errors in time entries and an excessively high rate charged by the firm.
  • Our in-depth analysis of a UK firm’s legal billings of approximately £1.8 million identified significant non-compliance with our U.S. client’s billing guidelines. As a result, we identified the firm’s fees were inflated by over 20% and recommended their fees should be reduced by this amount.
  • An international defense firm was billed over $450 million in fees regarding a contractual dispute. LFA identified significant inefficiencies, billing at high rates for clerical tasks and firm overhead. A mediation resulted in a reduction in fees of over 40%.

To learn more about Legal Fee Advisors’ forensic auditing services, contact us here.