UK Starts to March in Time

By Phil Wedgwood, CEO, Rekoop

The publication of the revised Legal IT Insider UK Top 200 Chart earlier this year caused a flurry of excitement thanks to its debuting of a new column for third party time recording software.

Time recording is nothing new – the discipline has long been firmly embedded in the majority of firms – but the topic is enjoying a resurgence within the UK. The traditional provider of this functionality (the PMS vendor), where time recording is just one element of its broader suite, is very different to the new breed of agile, dedicated developers. Time recording is all they do. As a result, the richness and usability of the resultant solutions, especially in the mobile arena, is a perfect testament to what single-minded focus and unadulterated investment and resourcing can achieve.

And yet, despite a noticeable increase in demand and steady flow of firms transitioning from legacy to best-of-breed, the updated chart still presents a worrying statistic: Only a third of the top tier have rolled out third party products, compared to two thirds in the US (who incidentally consistently outperforms the UK in terms of profitability.)

But as the pressure on good governance and strong fiscal management increases, and demand for alternative billing models intensifies, it is only the dedicated solution that can truly support the legal business going forward.

In our discussions with firms who have made the switch, we have observed a common theme: A management team that understands that time will always be the fundamental currency of the law firm, the basic unit of cost. Time and expertise is what they have to sell, and they need to see in real time just how much of those commodities is being sold. They need to see who is doing what, for how long, and for whom. And they need it tracked 24/7, across every matter, every document, every email, every meeting, and every phone call.

Time recording is more than just identifying leakage these days. Yes, you may find more time to charge out, sometimes significant amounts. But with the changing billing landscape, and the drive toward fixed, capped, and contingency fees, there is far more awareness of time recording as a management information source, a business intelligence tool, and a competitive weapon. The data it captures can unlock more reliable costing; keener pricing; more intelligent resourcing; more proactive WIP management; more transparent client working where inputs and outputs are clearly visible to both sides; improved utilization due to the better match up of time and payment from the outset and accelerated, query-free collection at the end; and basically just a far more comprehensive understanding of how your practice ticks.

With the granularity offered by specialist tools, you can get both macro and micro views of individual, team, and practice efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Because the underlying data is accurate and detailed, you know the resultant intelligence is sound. And sound intelligence is the basis for sound decision-making.

Time recording is now too important not to get dedicated investment. That investment has to deliver tools that can engage the end-user with a slick, ‘consumerist’ experience, while meeting the very practical demands of modern legal working. We’re facing environments that are characterized by round-the-clock operation with no real distinction between office, home, and mobile. There is a complex interplay of matter interactions and communication channels that all need to be tracked and a core requirement for secure, seamless, and synchronized working in the background.

A final thought on why over the next year another third of firms will implement solutions like Rekoop: A small increase in time captured, 3% or just a couple of units a day per fee earner, can boost PEP by 10%. And no-one actually has to work any harder…they just need to record time more smartly.


Rekoop is a global vendor solely dedicated to time capture. Its next generation solutions for desktop and mobile are the choice of the legal elite, with a third of the top international law firm brands as clients. Its committed to delivering a fresh take on timesheets, setting a new standard in usability, functionality and business value. For more information, email Phil Wedgwood, CEO, Rekoop, at

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