For instructions on how to upload invoices to LawVu, head to this article.

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What is a Ledes File?

The Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard is a set of file format specifications intended to facilitate electronic data transmission in the legal industry. The phrase is abbreviated LEDES and is usually pronounced as "leeds".

A LEDES file is a machine-readable file that displays invoice data in a specific order and format. This allows a company to ingest, accept and process invoices in an industry-standard way, making processing and payment much easier.

Different Ledes file formats, defined by the industry

The file format began as a plain text file (.txt) in versions:

  • LEDES 1998 (the first "LEDES" format, created in 1998, but no longer in use.)

  • LEDES 1998B (a pipe-delimited plain text file. The standard was adopted in 1998, and it is by far the more commonly used LEDES format. It lacks some flexibility, having a rigid structure. Another disadvantage of LEDES 1998B is that invoice-level data is repeated on every line item even though it is only needed once, as it does not vary per line. Many clients attempt to impose nonstandard customizations, thus defeating the purpose of having a standard. Nonetheless, law firms prefer it for its simplicity and familiarity.)

  • LEDES 1998BI/LEDES 1998-INTL (based on the LEDES 1998B standard. This format was designed to accommodate legal bills generated outside of the United States.)

For these specific LEDES versions, the file that is delivered to the corporation is the .txt file.

The file format then switched to an extensible markup language file (XML) in versions -

  • LEDES 2000 - (adopted in 2000, is an XML format.)

  • XML E-Billing version 2 (ratified in 2006 and addresses international needs in XML format.)

  • XML E-Billing version 2.1. (ratified in 2008.)

These formats create LEDES files and appear with the .xml file extension.

LawVu - Supported formats

LawVu supports the following ledes file formats, each with varying degrees of support:

Older Ledes formats:

  • LEDES 98B

  • LEDES 98BI

These formats create LEDES files that appear with the .txt file extension.
PLEASE NOTE: This format DOES NOT allow for line-by-line item approvals and adjustments by the client in LawVu.

Newer Ledes formats:

  • XML E-Billing version 2

  • XML E-Billing version 2.1

These formats create LEDES files and appear with the .xml file extension and DO ALLOW for line-by-line item approvals and adjustments by the client in LawVu.

LawVu - Non-supported formats

We don't officially support LEDES 98 (with no B/BI) or LEDES 2000. We offer limited support for LEDES 98B and LEDES 98BI

Minimum acceptance criteria

Ledes files can be configured to contain certain attributes from your practice management system. To submit ledes files and then relate them to matters in LawVu, please ensure they contain the following attributes as a minimum:

For matter linking:

  • Client ID (aka, your organization name)

  • Invoice ID (aka, Invoice Number)

  • Invoice Date

  • Matter ID/Name (which is referred to as the client reference ID)

Note, this is the LawVu Matter ID, starting with "LV" and followed by numbers. Firms uploading Ledes invoices need the full Matter ID, e.g. "LV0536-0099"

  • Due Date

  • Accruals

  • Fees (exc. GST/Tax)

  • Disbursements (exc. GST/Tax)

  • Total tax

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