Value Pricing with General Counsel in Australia

I was thrilled for the opportunity to discuss Value Pricing with major buyers of legal services at a workshop sponsored by the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA) during my August Tour Down Under.

As someone who teaches pricing, we at VeraSage spend the majority of our time with sellers, not buyers, since sellers have to develop and implement pricing strategies.

But every now and then, I have the opportunity to present the same ideas we show to firms to their customers. I did this in the advertising sector when I spoke to the Association of National Advertisers, which let to very interesting discussions with Coca-Cola, P&G, and other large customers of advertising agencies.

I tell both buyers and sellers the same thing—both sides need to focus on creating value. Economics is not zero-sum, if your agency or law firm is making a profit, so by definition is the customer.

In fact, our new mantra at VeraSage is to maximize the customer’s profit. The only way to do that is by creating more value; then the seller can capture a fair share with Value Pricing.

This message resonated with the in-house corporate counsel at ACLA. They want certainty in price, as they have budgets. They don’t want to be nickeled and dimed to death by hourly billing statements presented in arrears. These are not unreasonable expectations—it’s how they purchase everything else.

The laws of economics apply equally to car companies and law firms. There’s no special law of supply and demand for the legal profession. Customers want prices up-front, certainty and value.

For more information on the ACLA Workshop from Australia, and to get an audio recording, here’s the email from the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association:

Dear Member

Announcing: the ACLA Online MasterClass Series

ACLA is delighted to announce, in conjunction with Australian’s largest corporate webcaster, Boardroom Radio, a brand new online webinar service to members: The ACLA Online MasterClass Series. During the next few months ACLA will trial a series of three full-length online seminars on hot-topics of interest to members, brought to you by leading presenters from home and abroad.

In our first offering on Value Pricing, world renowned pricing expert Ron Baker challenges the infamous billable hour and the current relationship business model adopted by many in the legal profession.

This three hour seminar, which you can now view and listen to at your leisure—when it suits you—was held in Melbourne on 25 August 2009. The registration fee to attend the seminar was then $385.00 (incl. GST).

ACLA is pleased to offer this seminar online to you for just $195.00 (incl. GST). If you would like to purchase the webcast link, please download the attached order form and return it to ACLA.

Value Pricing is currently the subject of much discussion in Australia. This session is about making it a reality, learning how firms and clients have moved to a value pricing model and gaining insights into the challenges and successes using real examples.

Ron Baker conducts the session together with Liz Harris (Allocator Consulting) and John Chisholm, well known Australian experts in the in-house sector. An audience of senior in-house counsel provides a lively discussion.

If you would like to read more about Ron Baker and his recent lecture tour of Australia click here.

For more details about the Webcast offer, please contact ACLA at

Kind regards

Phil Wallis
National President

Once again, I’d like to John Chisholm, Liz Harris, and the team at ACLA for all the work they did in making this event happen.

It was an incredible experience to challenge the customers of legal services—I learned a lot.

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