Law firm risk, it’s all in the data.

Our MD and Founder, Graham Moore met up with Claire Burden from Evelyn Partners to discuss the weaknesses and reporting challenges faced by the legal sector.

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If you don’t have time to watch the video now, here are some highlights.

Graham Moore: You work with law firms regularly. Given the number that you work with, you’ve seen lots of different examples of management information reporting systems, processes and approaches. What are some of the sort of common weaknesses that you see?

Claire Burden: A lot of the issues around practice management system data, and the way it is also combined with other data, is that in law firms accountants typically take a bunch of different reports, do lots of work in Excel, and then provide dashboards. So there’s a timeliness issue because the reports are already out of date by the time they’re printed out. They then go around to the management team who look at them and use them to make decisions. It’s a very outdated way of working when we have the ability to get a live information from practice management systems through a live dashboard. And we see lots of delays around the fact that management question a number or question the utilisation level of an element of a team and aren’t able to drill down into the level of detail. So they go back to the finance team who then have to go and do more work. It becomes this cycle of lots of time wasted, really inefficient processes, and nobody really ends up actually making better decisions in the law firm as a result.  

Graham Moore: And it is that risk, if one person builds a solution, it might work great while that person is there, and as soon as they move on, effectively, the firm has to start again from scratch. Lawyers by their nature want to query things. They want to drill down, they want to understand what’s behind the numbers. They want to question and they want to compare the number that they’ve got in their notepad in the drawer with the figure that’s coming out of the system.

Graham Moore: You’ve worked with firms using a whole host of different practice management systems and often we come across firms who think the solution is just to change the practice management system, but from your experience is that an answer?

Claire Burden: No, I don’t think so. And often, law firm leaders can sometimes forget the level of disruption and inefficiency that’s caused by a big practice management system change that can be really, really problematic. Kind of almost bring a law firm to its knees for a year or so, more or less, while it’s sorting it out. And I think everyone needs to focus on the day job and business. Also, lots of the practice management systems do have some dashboard functionality now where they have kind of limited sets of reports. But we found that those don’t necessarily do everything that law firm leaders need either, they’re just those reports that they would have previously but in a more of a dashboard form rather than thinking holistically about what the firm needs to really make decent decisions and manage teams more effectively.

Don’t think you have reporting issues? Are you measuring these vital KPIs?

There are 25 KPIs that law firms should be measuring but often don’t.

In this handy quick reference guide you will find answers to:

In the guide you will find:

The List

The KPIs in this list have been divided into 5 sections, covering the 5 key areas of business performance:

Know Your Clients

  • Net Promoter Score: Widely used metric for measuring customer experience, grouping respondents as Promoters, Passives and Detractors.
  • Number of Client Referrals: Volume and value of new business introduced by existing clients.
  • Repeat Instructions %: Percentage of new instructions that are repeat business from existing clients.
  • Client Profitability: For any business client, the aggregate gross profit per transaction of all work done for that client.
  • Value of Target Sector: Billing and New Business value for any target market segment (eg geographic area, demographic, business type)

Measuring Your New Business Success

  • Number of Enquiries: Number and estimated value of new business enquiries in given period.
  • Conversion Rate %: Percentage of new business enquiries that become instructions.
  • Cost per Enquiry – CPE: In a given period, CPE = Total cost of acquiring new business ÷ Number of new enquiries.
  • Cost per Acquisition – CPA: In a given period, CPA = Total cost of acquiring new business ÷ Number of instructions.
  • Income per Lead Source: Total billing on matters per lead source in a given period.
  • Gross Profitability per Lead Source: Gross profit per transaction aggregated for each lead source.

Know Your Numbers

  • Average Cost per Transaction: The average cost of time spent to complete matters.
  • Average Gross Profit per Transaction: Total billing – Total cost of delivery ÷ Number of transactions.
  • Gross Margin %: Total billing – Total salary costs ÷ Total billing.
  • Net Cash Impact: Calculated as Total billing minus…
– Unpaid bills
– VAT on unpaid bills
– Disbursements paid but not received
– Disbursements written off
– Total cost of employment
– Marketing spend
– Practising certificates, training etc
– Number of Cases with Financial Risk: For example… Quote or Estimate not provided. Quote or Estimate value exceeded. Working for client with unpaid bills.

Understand Your Processes

  • First Call Response: Elapsed time from initial contact with prospect to conversation with appropriate advisor.
  • Time Between Milestones: Elapsed Time between key milestones.
  • SLA Achievement: Percentage of cases completed within timescales agreed (with client or internally.
  • Complaints: Number of complaints received.
  • Number of Cases with Process Risk: For example…
– Undertakings not discharged
– AML issues
– Inactive matters
– Residual balances

Discover why Katchr has over 100 Law Firm Clients - What our customers say

From improvements in their client service and billing to our own interface and customer support, our customers are singing the praises of Katchr — how it helps them build better practices and achieve their goals.

Hugh Gardner, Partner, Marriott Harrison explains how Katchr made people think differently and work smarter.

Andy Duckworth
Finance Director Trethowans

“Katchr is brilliant – it empowers fee earners and team leaders by giving them everything they need at their fingertips”

Alistair Howard
Finance Director Lodders

“The home page on Katchr, provides me with everything I need for ABC – Activity, Billing and Cash”

Brian Evans
Managing Partner Lanyon Bowdler

“The Katchr staff really understand how a law firm works, they talk our language, they use the terms that we use”

Explore our Katchr Enterprise Features to discover why top law firms choose to use our software to address their reporting challenges.


Today’s data is real-time, and Katchr allows you to track and plan your firm’s management system from one central law firm dashboard.

Clear, in-depth data analysis at the touch of a button.


Katchr includes built-in, easy to use tools for ad hoc analysis of your law firm data.

Compare individuals, teams and offices across a broad range of performance measures.

Risk and

Sleep sound in the knowledge that Katchr has your back covered with its advanced Risk and Compliance Alerts system.Monitor all potential risks and pitfalls with law firm software that allows you to keep on top of your compliance obligations.


Dice and slice your data. Drill down to the details. Analyse the performance of your business by Client, Work Type, Source of Business, Sector or any other criteria that are important to your firm.


Know your numbers – No more waiting days or weeks for month end reports.

Monitor your business in real time. Katchr provides fast, automated production of financial reports.


Understand your new business pipeline.

Get a detailed analysis of sources of business, the profitability of clients, by sector, and cross-selling opportunities.


Find out more about the security of your data, how to integrate with other data sources or how to personalise your dashboards with these common questions and answers.
How secure is my data

Katchr Enterprise can store data either in your data centre (on premise, private hosted, private cloud), or in the Katchr Cloud environment. 

Either way you have the re-assurance that Katchr is certified to ISO27001, ensuring that we carry out all development, support and services using best practice and to the highest standards.

Katchr Cloud solutions store all data in UK data centres. More details available on request.

What source systems are supported?

The following PMS integrations are fully tested and available:

Current PMS Solutions:

  • Aderant Expert
  • Advanced Legal Business (ALB)
  • Civica (Norwell) Prescient
  • Eclipse Proclaim
  • Elite 3E
  • LEAP
  • Linetime Liberate
  • Peppermint CX
  • SOS Connect
  • Tikit Partner

Legacy supported products:

  • Advanced Legal Enterprise (ALE)
  • Advanced Legal Enterprise
  • Advanced Evolution
  • Elite Envision
  • Indigo
  • Lexis Nexis Axxia
  • OMS

Want another? Custom integrations are available on request for any data source with a SQL database or published API.

Can I add data from other sources?

Yes, absolutely. One of the benefits of the Katchr solution is the ability to consolidate data across multiple data sources, such as:

  • Multiple instances of the same PMS
  • Combining PMS data with other accounts packages (eg. Xero)
  • Using CRM and/or HR system data to provide KPIs across client and team engagement
Can I customise my dashboards?

Yes, Katchr dashboards are fully customisable using the built-in dashboard designer – a very popular feature.

Discover more

Our Business Intelligence software for law firms integrates seamlessly into your firm, with first-class training, support and assistance on hand every step of the way.

Are you ready to transform the way you use data?

Our specialist, Jack will be happy to take you on a Product Tour.

Katchr software is available across all devices so you are never more than a glance from your real-time data and your next essential business decision.

More Updates

Top 25 KPIs that law firms don’t measure (but should)

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CTS Report - How Data is Disrupting the Legal Industry

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How top law firms use data to improve performance and grow their business

Born out of 30 years of working with law firms, we have developed this guide based on observation of the best performing law firms we have worked with.

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