Two leading costs and pricing consultancies have merged to offer what they claim will be a completely different outlook on pricing, including ending hourly rates.

Richard Burcher, managing director at Validatum, and Jennings Costs have joined to form Burcher Jennings, with a new board featuring some of the leading figures in consulting to the legal sector.

The new firm will offer on-site pricing training, pricing templates and guidelines, negotiation and pitch training, assistance on budgets and client care documents.

While Validitum will continue to serve the top-100 market, the new company will target firms outside that sector.

Burcher, who will be chairman of the new firm, said: ‘Lawyers do not like talking about money and this compounds their lack of confidence in deciding how to price their services. Most lack the know-how to offer pricing and payment choices and don’t have the negotiation skills to deal with aggressive procurement.’

He added that the company will ‘bring to an end’ poor realisation rates, problems with cashflow and time lost dealing with complaints.

Chief executive Martyn Jennings said its costs draftsmen will also seek alternatives to the ‘mechanical function’ linked to the hourly rate. ‘The traditional offering is no longer sufficient – law firms need to have a complete suite of pricing and payment options,’ he said.

The advisory board will include Professor Stephen Mayson; special adviser to Lord Justice Jackson Professor Dominic Regan; Robert Camp, managing partner of Stephens Scown; and Benjamin Williams, a barrister and costs specialist at 4 New Square.