The law department for a large international construction and pipeline company was operating in a highly decentralized environment where both litigation costs and volume were rising steadily. Additionally, there were no consistent protocols for selecting and managing outside counsel and other legal support vendors.
- Analyzed legal spending to identify which law firms were being used most frequently and to identify opportunities for immediate savings and efficiency improvements.
- Uncovered that firms were being sourced by individual attorneys and business clients in a reactive and uncoordinated manner, driving up costs and administrative challenges.
- Developed standardized protocols for selecting outside counsel and implemented standard Outside Counsel Engagement Terms and Guidelines to embody the protocols and enforce uniform terms across all legal engagements.
- Implemented technology-enabled solutions, including electronic billing and financial reporting, to enforce “best practice” engagement terms, provide access to hard data and support informed decision making.
The law department gained a uniform, data-driven approach to retaining and managing outside counsel that reduced costs, strengthened forecasting and improved internal communications. The law department also gained a better understanding of the value its firms were rendering and became equipped to engage in negotiations for alternative fee arrangements from a position of strength.