Ratings Policy

Ratings Policy

Version 2.0 | Applicable from March 2017

  1. Introduction
    1. Lawcadia Pty Ltd (ACN 607 954 843) ("we, us, our") assists corporate and government clients to manage all aspects of legal procurement, and assists law firms with business development and management services. Our services are provided via our web-based platform – Lawcadia.com.
    2. Lawcadia.com can be used for three different types of engagement:
      • (a) an “Open Tender” – which allows companies to find law firms, and then engage law firms using our procurement process
      • (b) a “Panel Tender” – which allows companies to obtain tenders from selected law firms (through a formal legal panel arrangement or otherwise); and
      • (c) a “Direct Engagement” – which allows companies that have engaged a particular law firm for a matter to register that matter on Lawcadia.com to assist with scope control, financial management and evaluation.
    3. This Ratings Policy (“Policy”) governs how our Rating System works, including on what basis law firms are rated, when ratings are disclosed and how disputes regarding ratings are handled. All companies and law firms who are registered to use Lawcadia.com are legally bound by this Policy.
  2. How does Lawcadia’s Rating System work?
    1. At the end of each matter registered on our Platform, corporate and government clients will be asked to rate the law firm based on six criteria as described in clause 3 below (“Lawcadia Core Ratings”). This is the key mechanism through which we provide accountability for expertise, service and pricing. It also incentivises law firms to provide transparent pricing and excellent service, as it assists future procurement decisions for our corporate and government clients.
    2. Under our Rating System, the ratings provided by a corporate or government client against the Lawcadia Core Ratings will attach to the profile of the lead partner for that matter, subject to clause 4.
    3. Once a partner has received five ratings, information regarding that partner's ratings will be disclosed to each corporate or government client to whom that partner submits an Expression of Interest or a Proposal for a new matter following an Open Tender or a Panel Tender. Partner ratings will not be public and, other than as provided in this Policy, will not be disclosed to anyone without that partner’s consent.
  3. What are the Lawcadia Core Ratings criteria?

    Area

    Rating Description

    Pricing Transparency Your overall level of satisfaction with the accuracy of the law firm’s fee proposal and the level of visibility that you had over your legal costs for the matter (including how the law firm handled any adjustments to the agreed fee arrangement and out-of-scope work).
    Project Management Your overall level of satisfaction with the project management capability demonstrated by the law firm, and their ability to ensure quality and efficiency in managing the matter.
    Responsiveness Your overall level of satisfaction with the responsiveness of the law firm throughout the matter and their ability to meet deadlines.
    Commerciality of Advice Your overall level of satisfaction with the commerciality of the advice provided by the law firm throughout the matter.
    Proactivity Your overall level of satisfaction with the law firm’s proactivity in their management of the matter to bring that matter to completion or to settlement (as applicable).
    Expertise The overall quality of expertise demonstrated by the law firm and the quality of the advice you received throughout the matter.
  4. Tailored Ratings
    1. Some corporate and government clients may elect to have the questions that their employees are asked as part of their ratings tailored to their individual needs. In those instances:
      • (a) if corporate or government clients rate the law firm based on the Lawcadia Core Ratings as well as tailored questions for that client, then the ratings against the Lawcadia Core Ratings will be treated in the same manner as set out in clause 2, and ratings of any other criteria will be kept confidential to that client and will not be disclosed to any other clients of Lawcadia; or
      • (b) if corporate or government clients rate the law firm based on factors that do not include all of the Lawcadia Core Ratings, then those ratings will be kept confidential to that client and will not be disclosed to any other clients of Lawcadia.
  5. Disclosure of Ratings to companies and law firms
    1. A company will only be able to see rating information for a partner if that partner is listed on Lawcadia.com as the lead partner for an Expression of Interest or a Proposal in response to an Open Tender or a Panel Tender for a new matter.
    2. In future, we may provide aggregate ratings for law firms, based on the ratings of each of the partners within that particular law firm, and disclose those ratings when any partner from that law firm submits a tender response.
    3. After a matter is closed and the company has provided their ratings, our default position is that the lead partner for that matter will be notified as to what their ratings are for the matter. Some corporate and government clients however are electing to withhold that information for certain periods of time or altogether, and the disclosure of ratings information to lawyers for particular corporate and government clients will be driven by their individual preferences.
    4. Each partner registered on Lawcadia’s Platform will also be able to see, in their profile, certain information regarding their ratings.
  6. Disputes
    1. If a law firm or partner considers that a rating that has been provided by a company is:
      • (a) manifestly incorrect; or
      • (b) grossly unreasonable;
    2. then the relevant law firm or partner may notify us at [email protected] that it is disputing the rating (a “Rating Dispute Notice”).

    3. Following our receipt of a Rating Dispute Notice, we will endeavour to speak to the law firm and the lead partner, as well as the person from the corporate or government client who has submitted the rating or such other persons that may have been involved in instructing the law firm on the applicable matter to determine whether, in our view, the rating is manifestly incorrect or grossly unreasonable.
    4. If, after our investigations, we are satisfied that the rating is manifestly incorrect or grossly unreasonable, we will delete the rating entirely and it shall be disregarded for the purposes of providing ratings information for the lead partner or law firm to any corporate or government client. We will never adjust or alter a rating.
    5. Our decision on any rating dispute shall be final and binding.
  7. Interpretation

    In this Policy:

    • (a) “Lawcadia.com” means our online website made available at Lawcadia.com and includes all associated websites, microsites, databases, software and back end systems;
    • (b) a reference to a “law firm” shall mean a law firm who is registered on Lawcadia.com;
    • (c) a reference to a “company” shall mean any company or other user who has procured a law firm to provide legal services to it using our Procurement Tool; and
    • (d) where any other word is given a particular meaning, it shall be interpreted in a consistent manner throughout this Policy unless the context otherwise requires.