What is Legal E-Billing?

Legal e-Billing is the process of automating the review and approval (or rejection) of invoices received by the corporate legal department. It also requires the law firm to submit invoices in LEDES format, to capture detailed information about the work billed. E-billing software allows legal departments to identify cost-saving measures in the immediate term and by using data-driven strategies for the future.


e-Billing produces an electric file specific to legal. It contains not only the invoice header, matter information, and bill totals but a detailed breakdown of timelines, timekeepers, and expenses coded against tasks, activities, and expenses. A legal-specific e-Billing solution is essential to capture this level of detail; standard accounts payable (AP) systems cannot capture this. With the increased pressure on legal departments to improve efficiency and control costs, e-Billing is a solution that quickly generates savings that pay for the investment, so it is a popular software purchase for legal operations managers. The benefits of e-Billing are directly related to reducing costs, so it’s easy to prove return on investment (ROI) quickly.


A typical legal team will receive thousands of invoices a year. Reviewing these invoices manually is time-consuming and prone to error. Different billing guidelines – what firms can and cannot invoice for – exist for different firms. Trying to remember and accurately apply these rules when manually reviewing invoices is a daunting task, and mistakes will slip through the net, resulting in overpayment.

Legal e-billing systems allow the corporate legal team to set up rules, and incoming invoices are automatically reviewed and approved, rejected, or flagged for further review. Savings from this area alone are usually a least 5% of legal spend in the first year. Other cost-reducing benefits include:

  • Law firms can submit their work in progress for real-time cost tracking and transparency, which reduces invoice surprises and rejected invoices, and speeds up payment so the legal department can benefit from faster pay discounts.
  • Automating invoice processing and review reduces human error and frees up the legal team to focus on more high-value work.
  • Time is also saved because legal matter and spend reporting is automated rather than needing to be compiled from multiple online and offline sources.
  • Spend data enables legal analytics for data-driven, strategic decision-making, including negotiations, panel reviews, and sourcing.
  • Effective, fair, consistent legal service provider and law firm sourcing Improved collaboration with external counsel leads to more strategic relationships, better matter outcomes, and more value for money.

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