Cost Recovery Continues to Evolve

Client and attorney pushback are nothing new. Pressure on rates and clients’ refusal to pay have been–and will continue to be–part of the norm. Everyday there are multiple opportunities for law firms to execute a successful cost recovery policy.

The data collected in Mattern & Associates’ Cost Recovery Survey enables cost recovery comparisons, accountability, forecasting, budgeting, and predictability, enabling recovery strategies for the nation’s most competitive firms in the Am Law 200/100 and Top 50.

“The Cost Recovery Survey has been useful to benchmark our realizations in various recovery categories and compare them to peer firms.  It has validated that our cost recovery strategy is competitive and a worthwhile revenue stream for our Firm.”

Andrea Meyers, Director of Finance & Operations at Miller Johnson

In 2016, the survey displayed interesting trends – primarily, it showed that the traditional soft cost recovery model is not going away. In fact, the vast majority of firms still utilize this methodology, with 24% having explored and decided not to move forward with an alternative methodology. However, 8% of firms, the highest percentage since we began tracking this data point, have implemented an alternative model, such as building recovery into their rates, utilizing a hard cost pass through (Mattern Plan B) or dropping recovery altogether.

For those that maintained soft cost recoveries, they experienced client pushback in certain areas including B&W copies, color copies, B&W print, color print, word processing. Pushback in these areas seemed to have increased from 2014.

View the full-sized infographic

Check out this infographic providing a compilation of previous years’ results:

The Mattern 2018 Cost Recovery Survey is once again compiling the industry benchmarks so many firms rely on.  We are pleased with the enthusiasm from this year’s respondents and look forward to delivering customized benchmark results to participating firms come September.

If your firm didn’t participate, you can sign up for an Overview of the results here.