Identifying and Fixing LEDES Invoice Errors (for Vendors and Law Firms)

This article is for vendors and law firms.

If you are experiencing an error at the point of upload, the error will be described to you on-screen. Use this information to correct the file. Alternatively, you may be prompted to fix the error within Brightflag. If you are unsure how to address the error, the following steps will clarify further.

First, check that your LEDES file complies with the LEDES standards (



Take the following steps to parse the LEDES text file in Excel:

  1. Open Excel and select a blank sheet.

  2. Copy and paste the ledes TEXT into the file.

  3. Go to data and select text to column.Screen_Shot_2021-07-13_at_1.00.25_PM.png

  4. Select delimited and click next.

  5. Check other and type in a pipe | (shift \ ) in the other text box.Screen_Shot_2021-07-13_at_1.01.27_PM.png

  6. Click Finish.

Checklist Data:

  1. Timekeeper Name format: Timekeeper name must be in the format “surname, first name”. Example: Smith, John.

  2. INVOICE_TOTAL: must match the sum of LINE_ITEM_TOTALs.

  3. Client matter ID is blank: The correct client ID doesn't need to be on the file, but the cell values for this field cannot be blank.

  4. Adjustments: Ensure no lines have LINE_ITEM_NUMBER_OF_UNITS as a negative value. To enter an invoice level discount, enter a new line with LINE_ITEM_TOTAL as a negative value and enter the EXP/FEE/INV_ADJ_TYPE as ‘IF’.

  5. INVOICE_DESCRIPTION: this must be the same for each line of the invoice.

  6. LINE_ITEM_DESCRIPTION: must be less than 1024 characters.

  7. Date: the INVOICE_DATE, BILLING_START_DATE, and LINE_ITEM_DATE should be in the format YYYYMMDD.

  8. LAW_FIRM_COUNTRY: Use the Alpha-2 code

  9. File type: the file must be a .txt file. If your software has generated a .edi or .dat file, you can change the file type by editing the file name to include .txt at the end of the file.

Checklist formatting:

  • The LEDES were not recognized in the standard LEDES format. LEDES1998B[] or LEDES98BI[] V2).
  • There are extra or missing columns. There should be 24 columns for LEDES1998B
    and 52 columns for LEDES98BI V2.
  • The brackets at the end of each line of the file are missing. Lines must end with []
  • There is an incorrect field delimiter. All should be pipe delimited ‘|’ 
  • There are unrecognized or non-ASCII characters. 

Once you have identified the errors on the excel file, revert to your original LEDES text file and edit the items that caused the errors. 

 You can find a more detailed breakdown of each column on LEDES 98Bi file template and for LEDES 98B files.

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