It is not just about recovering more, it is about getting paid for what you recover

One overlooked area of opportunity in many firms is the recovery of client reimbursable costs. Study after study show that clients will pay and attorneys will not write-off defensible, verifiable recoverable costs. Does this surprise you?

If you are negotiating your support services contract and not factoring in the cost recovery impact based upon what your firm is recovering, you are leaving the majority of the financial impact on the table. This is not acceptable in today’s market.

In conducting the Mattern & Associates Cost Recovery Survey every two years for the last decade and conducting over 100 analyses of what firms are recovering, writing off and giving up on, I can say with authority that the recovery of costs is not dead and rumor of its demise is greatly exaggerated.

For every anecdote of a client pushing back, there is an example of a firm strategically increasing their billable recoveries. An excellent example of a firm recently repositioning their cost recovery is Armstrong Teasdale of St. Louis one of Missouri’s largest law firms with 250 lawyers. Upon an analysis all of the firm’s support services operations and cost recovery strategies against industry benchmarks, we developed a specific approach necessary for Armstrong’s needs in each area, including initiating cost recovery for print, something the firm had not previously done. Read more here.

If your firm wants to strengthen its cost recovery strategies, you can start by asking these questions:

  • Is cost recovery obsolete?
  • How has cost recovery changed over the last decade?
  • What have the trends shown for soft vs. hard cost recoveries?
  • What are successful strategies now and moving forward?
  • What alternative methodologies have been implemented?
  • How does cost recovery impact your back office operation?

Another step you can take is to join our webinar on Wednesday, February 19th at 12pm EST: “Structuring your firm’s cost recovery strategy and back office operation to maximize your billable recoveries” where we will address these questions and more.

Please email Lisa Schneider at and she will provide you with the link.