Challenging the Traditional Law Firm Business Model
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — VortexLegal LLC, an alternative legal service provider that matches law firms and corporate legal departments with a curated network of local attorneys who attend hearings on their behalf for a flat fee, today announced that it has entered into a preferred vendor relationship with Hickey Smith LLP, a law firm purpose-built to deliver legal services with significantly greater efficiency and consistency yielding great results. Hickey Smith will offer its clients VortexLegal’s flat-rate hearing attendance service with access to over 5,000 attorneys from across the United States.
“Working with VortexLegal helps us reduce our clients’ costs for routine legal work while at the same time enabling our attorneys to focus their attention on providing the best strategic advice and counseling we can for our clients,” said Christian Dodd, Hickey Smith’s legal operations partner.
“Our hearing attendance service is a perfect fit for law firms looking to better serve their clients and we are thrilled that Hickey Smith is taking this innovative journey with us. Many law firms talk about ‘innovation,’ but Hickey Smith deserves credit for taking real action,” said VortexLegal’s CEO Jonathan Broder.
VortexLegal’s hearing attendance solution is ideal for jurisdictions where courts require numerous case management-type hearings in an effort to move the cases along and for hearings that require travel to attend. “Many of these hearings are limited in scope and purpose, so they are low risk and ideal for our attorneys to handle. And there are literally thousands of these types of hearings each day costing companies millions of dollars a year,” added Broder.
The value is not just monetary. “We reviewed a client’s data recently and it showed that depositions were being set on average 72 days sooner, weren’t being canceled due to scheduling conflicts and were able to complete 36 percent more depositions in the same time period from the prior year. They also saved over $500,000 in a 12-month period,” stated Broder. “Our network of lawyers became a trusted extension of their firm. They handle matters time and time again in front of the same judges, providing a ‘home court advantage.'”
While VortexLegal may threaten the traditional billable-hour model, many law firms are finding value. Firms that offer their clients VortexLegal’s services can more competitively position themselves and distinguish themselves from their competition. It also allows them to free up time for their lawyers to focus on higher-value — and higher-paying — work and helps to “right-size” staff levels. “One of our clients recently chose not to backfill a position when one of their attorneys resigned,” commented Broder. “They reallocated the files amongst their attorneys and used us for hearings.”
VortexLegal’s services are also a solution for lawyers who are paid only a fraction of their hourly rate for travel. “Why travel at 50 percent of your hourly rate if you can stay at the office and bill 100 percent of your rate and have the matter covered by a trusted, local attorney,” said Broder.
At its inception nearly five years ago, Hickey Smith adopted a technology-enabled approach to improve processes and lower legal spend while maintaining high-quality results for their clients. The firm recently demonstrated its capabilities with the launch of its Outsourced Staff Counsel program for one of the 20-largest general insurance and reinsurance companies worldwide. This program included a nine-month pilot engagement followed by the program’s expansion to additional regions in the U.S. The move to partner with VortexLegal reflects Hickey Smith’s continued commitment to delivering legal services more efficiently without compromising quality.
“When called upon, VortexLegal’s attorneys handle the very routine and predictable matters, without any sacrifices in the quality of legal representation,” added Hickey Smith’s Dodd. “This work, in turn, enables our experienced attorneys to devote their time to performing more substantive, satisfying legal work. It is a win-win for our clients and our team of attorneys.”
“Our ideal partners are firms like Hickey Smith that proactively look for innovative solutions to their clients’ greatest challenges,” added Broder. ‘”Many firms lack an incentive for this kind of change, so it’s exciting to see panel managers and corporate legal departments seek out and reward law firms like Hickey Smith. We’re very excited about our partnership with the firm,” Broder stated.
VortexLegal is an alternative legal service provider that manages a nationwide network of curated attorneys who attend routine, voluminous and predictable hearings for a flat rate on behalf of law firms and corporate legal departments. By disaggregating legal services, VortexLegal’s clients have more time to focus on substantive legal matters, improve cycle time for clients and can significantly reduce their legal spend. For more information about VortexLegal, visit https://vortexlegal.com. Media inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Hickey Smith
Hickey Smith is a law firm purposely designed to deliver legal services with significantly greater efficiency, consistency and added value. By deconstructing and refining traditional legal processes, applying workflow technology and collecting and analyzing data, Hickey Smith is transforming the way legal services are delivered today. With an unrivaled combination of disciplined processes, technology expertise and business leadership, Hickey Smith clients benefit from reduced total legal spend, improved quality, enhanced transparency, actionable insight, simplified management of outside counsel and increased control. For more information, visit hickeysmith.com.
For more information about establishing an outsourced staff counsel program, please contact:
David Hickey, Managing Partner – 626.737.9505
Christian Dodd, Legal Operations Partner – 904.374.4238