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Fee transparency: Olswang, OC, Taylor Wessing and 12 others sign up to service to reduce legal fee disputes

Taylor Wessing, Olswang and CMS Cameron McKenna are amongst a host of firms to sign up to Apperio – a platform designed to create transparency on legal fees.

Fifteen law firms have signed up to the initiative so far including Osborne Clarke, Taylor Wessing, Charles Russell Speechly and Taylor Vinters, in a bid to help clients track their legal spend by regularly sharing fee information using a transparent platform.

According to Apperio founder and former CMS Cameron McKenna lawyer Nicholas d’Adhemar, the initiative will significantly reduce disputes over fees between clients and the respective firm. ‘During my career as a lawyer, I experienced wrangling over legal fees due to the opaque nature of billing. Poor communication between the firm and the client would sometimes lead to clients being charged with random bills, sometimes three times higher than what was expected,’ said d’Adhemar. ‘Apperio will effectively help clients receive reduced bills, and see fee’s recorded accurately and on time.’

Other features include a streamlined tender process and a tool which allows clients to monitor the amount of partner/associate time spent on each transaction/case. ‘The idea is to encourage proactive management [on these issues] as opposed to a reactive fallout,’ d’Adhemar added.

Some fifteen clients have signed up to the platform, mainly consisting of venture capitalists and private equity firms so far, including Octopus Investments, Capvest, Patients Know Best and Elliptic. Apperio’s next move is to introduce the idea into mainstream corporate, and have over half of UK’s top 200 law firms signed up by the end of the year.

Clients subscribe to Apperio by paying a quarterly fee, and are charged in accordance to the amount of legal work they want tracking, ranging from an overall legal spend of £350,000 up to £10m.

D’Adhemar launched Apperio in February 2013 initially as a tendering process for clients, which later evolved into a legal fee tracker the following year. Before this, d’Adhemar worked as legal counsel at Sterling Energy for a year in January 2009, having left CMS Cameron McKenna after three years of being an associate.