Mattern Announces 2018 Cost Recovery Survey Results: Client Pushback Moderates

Chadds Ford, PA – October 23, 2018 – Legal support services consulting firm Mattern, LLC today announces the results of the 2018 Mattern Cost Recovery Survey results.  Following analysis of data across areas of recovery, the data show that client pushback has stabilized and, therefore, so too recovery across back and middle office areas.  This is the 14th year Mattern has conducted the highly regarded, bi-annual survey to track recovery practices across firms of all size and geographic presence across law firms’ back and middle office functions.

Following a decade of flat growth in demand for legal services, the legal market landscape shifted to a buyer’s market.  However, recent reports indicate that firms are more profitable than ever, and now the Mattern Cost Recovery Survey data show the legal industry has turned the corner on recovery pushback.

Some of the key, 2018 data indicating the stabilization of recovery include:

  • B&W copy net realization remain level in comparison to 2016 net realization
  • B&W print net realization increased 30%
  • Legal Research net realization increased by 48% over 2016 results
  • Billable percentages and the “Billable actually Billed” have stabilized or increased across the board

The 2018 Survey data show traditional soft cost recovery model continues to be the dominant model in the marketplace and remains strong at a year over year 85% average; however, non-traditional models show the largest percentage of respondents to date–close to 25%–having explored and implemented an alternative recovery model, including 20% of firms adjusting fees to include these costs. Firms also evidenced increased aggressiveness for modern areas of recovery such as scans, prints, and litigation support/e-Discovery costs, storage, data rooms, closing books, hosting, coding, and more.

As the Mattern Cost Recovery Survey has consistently shown, hard costs are the most effective way to recover costs with net realization remaining in the mid 80% range.

Company President, Rob Mattern, states: “Mattern has been proud to both be the leader on cost recovery strategies as well as the leader of this data for the legal market over two decades; the bi-annual Survey is a key metric to measure these practices of the top 400 firms We are taking the 2018 results as a positive, healthy sign for the industry as a whole that recovery has stabilized and firms are in a strong position to determine what strategic steps to take as we round the bend to 2019.”

About Mattern

Mattern is the leader in legal business process consulting and cost recovery solutions. We provide law firms and legal departments with unbiased strategies for measurably improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of in-house and outsourced back and middle office services. For more information on Mattern, visit, check out their blog, connect on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter @MatternOfFact. The company is based in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.


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