With Turn to Hybrid Work, Firms Are Recovering Fewer ‘Soft Costs’ and Losing Revenue

By Dan Packel
This article was originally published in American Lawyer on October 27, 2021, 3:51 PM EDT.

A new survey finds that 51% of firms don't intend to recoup costs generated from at-home work.

What You Need to Know

  • Mattern surveyed nearly 40 firms to determine the future of the
  • The recovery of these costs now constitutes a shrinking portion of firms' revenue.
  • Most firms have no intention of passing cybersecurity costs along to their clients.

A majority of law firms surveyed by operations consultancy Mattern don’t intend to recover costs generated from at-home work, according to new survey results released Wednesday.

Mattern surveyed nearly 40 firms, ranging from global giants like DLA Piper and Baker McKenzie to boutiques and regional players, to determine the future of the “traditional soft cost” recovery model that most firms employ.

In this model, firms formulate the costs of services like copying, printing and postage and charge them to clients, alongside “hard costs,” which are third-party invoices passed on directly to clients.

The survey found that soft-cost recovery is likely to be a declining component of firms’ revenue streams, owing to a decline in overall generation of these costs that’s been connected to remote work.

To view the article on American Lawyer, click here.