VPD, which was conceived of and built by UK cost consultancy Burcher Jennings and legal pricing experts Validatum, integrates with any of the major practice management systems including Elite 3E, Aderant and Fulcrum/SAP. Hugh James is using VPD to manage the entire pricing and profitably journey of a matter through the firm, from the creation of the proposal, monitoring of budget v actual revenue and gross profit margin, to resourcing.
Hugh James had taken part in VPD’s pricing masterclasses, and speaking to Legal IT Insider, VPD chairman and co-founder Richard Burcher said: “The firm had taken our masterclasses and could see massive benefit in taking our software in order to embed the new skills at an operational level. They can have the classes without the software but we’re seeing a massive interest from firms in both. It comes back to that ‘people, process, technology’ trinity: people without tech means people thinking about doing the right thing without the means to do it, and then tech without people, it sits on a shelf.”
The project was led by Hugh James partner and head of corporate/commercial, Gerallt Jones, who said: “In Virtual Pricing Director, we have found an impressive pricing solution that means we can better address the needs and expectations of our clients and our people. Particularly during a time of high inflation, we welcome the benefits of greater billing transparency, clarity, and better cost communication throughout the life of a matter, which is all important for our clients. VPD delivers a tangible improvement in our process for pricing, including for collaboration among our legal teams.”
VPD has now worked with over 300 law firms in 25 countries on its paid for masterclasses. Burcher said: “They teach you pricing and negotiation skills, and alternative fee arrangement creativity to bolster your pricing confidence.”
Asked about GPT, Burcher said that the company is looking at the potential of large language models such as GPT, and that recent developments are exciting, but said: “We’re not rushing into anything and have a lot of features and functionality on our roadmap.”
He added: “I’ve always been a subscriber to Peter Thiel at PayPal, who says that the best software is not the one with the most features, it’s the software that does the basics brilliant to solve the users’ problem brilliantly.”