In the July issue of the Insider we launched a survey to help us understand trends around the sensitive issue of cost recovery, working with NewField IT, an independent print and document management consultancy. Although responses so far have been limited – probably because many of you have been on holiday – we have already seen some interesting results:
•         Over 80% of firms state that cost recovery policies are clearly defined but not consistently applied.
•         All firms that have responded charge for copied documents but only half charge for printed documents. (If you were a client would you know the difference?)
•         Most firms declare that they are collecting less than £1000 per fee earner per annum.
•         Litigation is the best practice area for recovering costs.
•         Half the firms responding expect to increase their cost recovery over the next 12 months; none expect it to reduce.
•         Key reasons limiting cost recovery are: an inability to recover costs for printed documents; reluctance of lawyers to charge disbursements to their clients and a lack of clear and consistent policies.
The survey can still be accessed at – it will only take a few minutes and we encourage you to complete it. Everyone completing the survey will receive a free report providing a detailed analysis of the results. A summary of the results will also be published in a future issue of the Insider. Note: no published data will identify individuals or firms.