With more than two decades of hands-on experience in implementing collaborative client/outside counsel solutions, Global Legal Ebilling founder Jane A. Bennitt is a subject matter expert in the creation and deployment of collaborative case management, ebilling and contract management solutions. Jane’s specialty is global ebilling. Jane works with law departments, insurance claims organizations, law firms and vendors needing assistance with requirements gathering around workflow and business processes, compliance concerns, designing and implementing automated solutions, data availability and quality, and creating metrics to support business process improvement.
Prior to forming GLE, Jane was a Manager with Hildebrandt Baker Robbins. Previously she was the Director of Data Services at TyMetrix where she was the company’s first employee. During her tenure at TyMetrix, Jane was directly responsible for or assisted in creating many of the systems and processes which led to the incredible success of TyMetrix in its first decade, including, most notably, developing the business model used today for legal ebilling.
In 2016 Jane returned as President of the LEDES Oversight Committee, a position she filled previously for eight years. She also has filled the roles of Vice President, Treasurer and Membership and since 2014 has functioned as webmaster for the web sites maintained by the LEDES Oversight Committee (ledes.org and utbms.com). She is the principal author of the LEDES XML 2.0 (2005) and 2.1 (2007) formats. In 2008 she led the team responsible for ILTA’s E-Billing Survey of law firms and law departments. In 2012 she led the LOC’s efforts to update UTBMS Activity and Expense Codes used in ebilling; in 2013 she spearheaded the revision of the Timekeeper Classifications used in legal ebilling; in 2014 Jane led the LOC’s review of the Knowledge Management UTBMS Codes proposed by the Yerra Global KM Expert Group; and has participated as a subcommittee member of various other standards developed by the LEDES organization. In 2019 Jane revised the ebilling formats used for global ebilling to better accommodate global taxes, and created LEDES XML 2.2 (2019) to accommodate tiered taxes in Japan. She is currently spearheading a project to work one-on-one with vendors whose systems do not follow the LEDES format specifications as written to better align processes and requirements across legal.
No one has more experience in legal ebilling or in thought leadership within the industry.
More Than A Quarter Century of ELM Excellence
GLE founder Jane Bennitt celebrated her twenty-fifth year in the ebilling industry in 2019.
It was 1994 when Jane was hired as the first employee to work on a project intended to help an insurance GC better understand legal spend. Jane was tasked with turning the idea (“that’s simple!”) into a business with administrative processes, client service and help functions for clients and their outside counsel requested to ebill, as well as to provide input on the technical development of the system.
The idea was to have outside counsel submit a file containing the data elements that underlay a regular paper invoice. The original format required outside counsel to identify the hours and type services necessary to bring a matter to conclusion, and by adding information on the timekeeper and rate, cost could be derived secondarily. A system was designed to receive and validate invoice submissions, route them to bill reviewers within the client organization, present the information in a uniform fashion for review, allow bill reviewers to reject or to adjust and approve invoices, and facilitate payment of the invoices. They waited until the UTBMS codes were released, recognizing that these would be an invaluable component of invoice validation, and the first 13 law firms were installed in December of 1995. In the months thereafter the company was incorporated under the name TyMetrix. By the time the LEDES 98 format was released, TyMetrix had more than 230 firms submitting ebills and the system was retrofitted to accept the LEDES industry standard.
The system proved so successful that clients instantly wanted more functionality: timekeeper and rate approval; more fulsome matter management features; collaboration; budgeting; case plans; canned and ad-hoc reporting; outside counsel scorecarding; integrations with AP, IP, DM and mail systems; the ability to appeal reductions taken; accruals; resolution information; and, later on, functionality to support global clients (to name just a few…).
The discussion in those early days was that invoice information would be used to manage better. By marrying it with matter and resolution information, it could:
- facilitate budgeting for like matters by ultimately having the system tell clients and outside counsel what a matter should cost
- identify which firms obtained better outcomes
- identify motions or experts that contributed to better resolutions
- highlight geographic differences that impact how like matters settle
- model matter-handling procedures to achieve better outcomes
Many decisions made in those early days became the standard for how the industry would operate. Jane’s contributions helped to shape the discipline.