When urgency meets scepticism

A Case Study

Positive Pricing was engaged to assist a large regional firm that wanted to increase profitability ahead of a planned merger. We worked with the executive team to identify and realize a number of quick win initiatives, including 11% increase in realized rates.


At the time of our engagement, our client was a large regional firm on the cusp of a merger. Therefore, they wanted to increase their profitability to obtain the best commercial result for the partners.

The trouble was, it was at the beginning of a recession and their clients were trying to cut legal costs and their competitors responded by discounting to maintain volume. Individual partners had significant autonomy with their pricing.

The firm completed two pricing reviews in the previous five years, both which failed to deliver significant benefit. While the Managing Partner was driven to improve pricing, the executive team believed it was too hard.

Positive Pricing Approach

Our first task was to engage the executive team and win their confidence for the pricing review. Without their support, the project was unlikely to succeed.

We ran a half-day Pricing Scoping Workshop, which some of the executive team were reluctant to attend.

Our agenda was to:

  • Discuss their key pricing challenges
  • Develop a common understanding of contemporary pricing practices within leading professional services firms
  • Identify opportunities to improve the firm’s pricing outcomes

By the end of the workshop, the executive team had collectively identified 18 specific opportunities to improve pricing performance, and prioritized four.

The group left energized knowing it is possible to successfully improve their approach to pricing.

Key Actions

We subsequently conducted more detailed analysis on each of the opportunities (while identifying six more opportunities). At the next executive meeting we shared this analysis, and provided:

  • A detailed plan for five ‘quick-win’ opportunities to realize immediate pricing gains, plus
  • A proposed change management program aimed at strengthening the firm’s pricing capability.

The rollout of the program was fast-tracked over the following eight weeks. By the end of the financial year, they had not only achieved their target numbers, they had exceeded them. This result could be fully attributed to the double-digit increase in their realized rates, despite a flat market for their direct competitors.

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Pricing Review Results


Quick wins

5 'quick wins' to realize immediate pricing gains

Double digit gains

Realized rates increased by 11 percent

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The Pricing Masterclass provided practical strategies to help us win work, analyse pricing risks, and promote value internally and externally. It presents all sides of the equation: clients, partners, back office, and more. We immediately capitalised on what we learned. Thanks for a fantastic and interactive workshop.

Peter Lane Secor
Director of Strategic Pricing and Project Management
Pepper Hamilton, Boston

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