Bodhala’s Legal Billing Data Insights Cited in Wall Street Journal Page One Analysis

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On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal published a deep-dive analysis into changes in rate and partnership structures in recent years at elite law firms – those firms most used by the world’s biggest companies and investors.

Costs of Legal v Health Care v Rent v College v Consumer Google (2001 - 2019)

The legal industry had successfully shielded itself from innovation and market metrics, leading to spiraling prices.

Bodhala, the leading tech platform enabling corporate legal teams to analyze and optimize their spend, was cited as a primary source illuminating the staggering increases in rates, the dilution of partnership, the changing compensation practices, and the increasing mobility of top partners and top clients between white-shoe law firms.

Bodhala Co-CEO Ketan Jhaveri, himself a veteran of one of these firms, said the surfaced data highlighted the spiraling in elite firm rates since 2000.

“The Journal story is the first real major piece to expose the market we’ve been trying to illuminate since we envisioned Bodhala,” Jhaveri said. “Our team realized that, despite massive disruption across the economy, the legal industry had successfully shielded itself from innovation and market metrics, leading to spiraling prices. The Journal had a hunch, and we were pleased our data confirmed their suspicions.”

The story noted how billable hourly rates for the top partners at top firms had rocketed almost 250 percent from under $700 in 2000 to more than $1650 today, far exceeding the roughly 50 percent inflation rate during this period.

Jhaveri said this reality correlates with the frustration many corporate legal departments feel, and the very premise of Bodhala is to end that notion by making pricing more market-based.

Utilizing industry-leading pricing algorithms trained on a living database of billions of dollars in lines of billing information, Bodhala is able to give clarity and insight into some of the most challenging questions about legal spend, from how complex work should be allocated and priced to surfacing gender and racial disparities.

And before Bodhala’s years-long investment into its data science team and machine learning systems, these kinds of insights would not be possible. This kind of innovation is far beyond the capabilities of the invoicing and billing platforms used by the law.

“The culture of Big Law is changing rapidly, and Bodhala is driving the leading edge,” Jhaveri said. “Informed enterprises are no longer willing to accept the concept of yearly rate increases without accountability or competition. We have built the current platform to give companies a workflow into discovery, procurement, pricing and evaluation of counsel. And by doing so, we’ve empowered our clients to save literally millions of dollars each year as we move the industry toward pricing and counsel selection that is value-based and not just time- and seniority-based.

Raj Goyle, Bodhala co-CEO, said this culture change has driven thought leaders to proactively turn to Bodhala for insights on matters of legal data and trends in Big Law.

“Our growth as a company has been directly correlated to our investments in data and the learnings we’re able to provide our clients,” Goyle said. “We’re eager to continue being able to give clarity and context to media outlets as they start to understand the transformation occurring in the legal market.”

Goyle said in the five years Bodhala has been in business, the changes happening in the Big Law landscape have been becoming more apparent, with the Journal analysis being the most recent example.

“Our data is powerful and it’s going to change the marketplace for the better,” Goyle said. “Ultimately our goal is to bring visibility in steps for real systemic change.”

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Kyle Johnson
Bodhala
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