JordanFurlong + process   260

UnitedLex's Deal With LeClairRyan Was a Failure. Is It Also a Sign of Things to Come? | The American Lawyer
Consultant Marcie Borgal Shunk of the Tilt Institute said that shouldn’t spook the industry. In fact, she said LeClairRyan’s experience should be a reminder of the opportunities that new arrangements can offer firms that aren’t at the height of the law firm market.

“They should be thinking about this sooner rather than later,” she said. “There’s a potential opportunity to pursue work and find work that would otherwise be outside the realm of possibility. It allows them to compete with the big guys.”

Several former partners at LeClairRyan said they did not believe the arrangement with ULX had any impact on the firm’s collapse. One noted that he’d brought in several new clients via UnitedLex that are moving with him to his new firm.

While the bankruptcy filing shows that LeClairRyan owes ULX Partners $8 million plus interest, on the face of it, that number says little. The firm estimated between $10 million and $50 million in remaining assets, and wherever the actual number falls within those parameters, it might have been significantly lower, had the firm been paying directly for these services over the past year.

“I don’t think that there’s evidence that the deal with UnitedLex was a driver in LeClairRyan’s demise, and in fact, I think it was a net positive in keeping their expenses down,” said Kent Zimmermann, a consultant with the Zeughauser Group.
outsourcing  process  innovation  failure 
3 days ago by JordanFurlong
After 40 Years of Constant Change, What's Next for the Legal Industry? | The American Lawyer
Technology and artificial intelligence on their own are noteworthy, but what’s more compelling is the impact they will have on how firms are structured.

Mitch Zuklie of Orrick. Cedit: Jason Doiy/ALM.
“Everything that can be taken out of the hands of subject-matter experts and handed over to the process experts and technologists will be,” says Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Chairman and CEO Mitch Zuklie. “There will be far fewer associates sitting in rooms with documents and more strategic partnerships among law firms and legal tech providers.”
future  firms  clients  process  innovation  it  compliance 
3 days ago by JordanFurlong
Alternative Legal Services Providers and the Shortage of Legal Talent | Legal Executive Institute
n my articles I’ve noted how the demand for legal services at corporations is growing. I’ve also highlighted how corporations are looking for new ways to procure legal services and determine what they should be paying for these services to manage legal support costs. Finally, I’ve noted how ALSPs have addressed these needs — at least in part — and how ALSPs’ successes are resulting in very strong growth. That’s been a good thing for many.

Unfortunately, that growth is creating a talent shortage, a talent shortage in a segment of the legal services market which, in turn is affecting the way corporations hire outside legal help.

It may sound strange to say there’s a talent shortage in the legal industry given the number of law students graduating into the profession each year and given how many of them struggle to find a good — let alone a great — legal job. But the hiring we are seeing is very concentrated, and much of it comes from law firms filling traditional associate roles. But there is a demand for legal talent that’s not being met, and it’s having a cascading effect in parts of the corporate legal services industry, specifically that part of the industry involving ALSPs and the work that they support.
competition  process  talent 
20 days ago by JordanFurlong
Law Company Elevate Raises $25M, Aiming for 2021 Public Listing
Elevate Services has received $25 million in funding from a private equity firm as the Los Angeles-based legal services business aims internally for a public stock market listing in 2021.

Elevate has also predicted its revenue will climb to $76 million in 2019—and to more than twice that amount by 2023, according to a presentation obtained by Bloomberg Law.

Elevate’s growth and drive toward a public listing shows how fast-growing the market for nontraditional legal service models has become. Elevate, which bills itself as a “law company,” provides consulting, technology and other services to law firms and law departments.
newlaw  outsourcing  process 
11 weeks ago by JordanFurlong
'This Is Not Greenberg Traurig': Firm Leader Touts New Innovation Venture | The American Lawyer
Greenberg Traurig chair Richard Rosenbaum recognizes that the traditional full-service law firm can’t do everything.

For clients’ primary needs—excellence in core legal areas—they’re not looking anywhere else. But when it comes to so-called “commoditized” work, they have an increasing set of options, and law firms will invariably struggle to keep up with the technology needed to compete.
His firm announced this week it was founding a subsidiary, Recurve, that will partner with artificial intelligence providers, staffing firms, real estate innovators and other startups to guide clients as well as other law firms in taking advantage of the growing range of services available. The idea is to be “innovation architects,” who identify client needs and guide them toward solutions, but won’t execute them or engage in the practice of law.

The initiative will be run out of Warsaw, Poland; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Denver, and will also include operations in strategically selected locations like Austin, Texas; Berlin; and South Florida. The 2,000-attorney firm has existing offices in all of these locations.
Rosenbaum spoke Wednesday with The American Lawyer about his vision for Recurve and what is novel about the offering.

In your own words, what is Recurve?

Over time we obviously have seen the evolution of both technology and other forms of staffing, artificial intelligence and other value-enhancing ways of addressing so-called repetitive and commoditized aspects of legal work. Because of that, there has arisen a lot of capital spending and business units within law firms, with limited success for the most part. It’s very hard to keep up with the cutting edge.
innovation  r&d  offshore  process 
june 2019 by JordanFurlong
Trending: Has EY Law bitten off more than it can chew in Pangea3? Quite possibly | Legal IT Insider
TR: “Hey EY, wassup, you wanna buy Pangea3? Yeh, you might have heard we’re having a little restructure and we’re all about tech products now, not services. We bought Pangea nine years ago, which is ages, and, you know, things have changed, what can I say. Anyway it’s a great business, 1,000 professionals globally, very slick operation, it’s totally an ‘us not them’ situation. So, you wanna buy it?”

EY: “Oh wow you say 1,000 professionals? Globally? Sheez, that will really piss off the rest of the Big Four, scare the crap out of law firms, and get us on the map for legal operations with global corporate clients. We’re in!”

The reality would have been much longer and much more boring, if my brief stint in a law firm corporate department is anything to go by. But there is no doubt the acquisition arose out of an opportunity that EY snapped up like a hot cake.
accountants  process  competition 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
The EY Law Strategy: What Now And Where Next? – Artificial Lawyer
I.e. EY feels that it is now two years closer to achieving its strategic goal than it was a week ago. And that is a big step for a business that already has 2,400 legal professionals across 84 countries.

In effect, EY, which had revenues of $34.8 billion in 2018 and 270,000 employees…..yes, you read that number correctly, 270,000 employees…..also has a global law firm with now a globally sized LMS team mixed in there and that its client base can leverage.

The Next Strategic Step?

One thing Grossmann highlights is that bringing in more legal businesses into EY is currently an active focus of the Big Four firm.

Artificial Lawyer asks: Will you try and acquire a law firm in London? Grossmann won’t be drawn on specifics, but he adds: ‘As we speak we are in the middle of transactions with law firms. We will fill gaps in our network. We have already integrated law firms all over the world into EY.’

In short, expect more news in the months ahead about law firms joining EY. And, it should be noted, ‘EY Law’ is already very busy offering a range of services to its clients (see graphic below).
accountants  process  competition 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
EY ramps up legal services offering with Thomson Reuters deal - Legal Futures
Pangea3 claims as clients four of the 10 largest corporations in the world by market capitalisation, all of the top 10 multinational investment banks, and 47 of the biggest law firms in the US.

Its four areas of specialisation are litigation and investigations, contract lifecycle management, research and compliance, and financial trade documentation.

EY’s LMS business, by comparison, is split into three core areas: contract lifecycle management, regulatory risk and compliance, and investigations and litigation.

This is in addition to legal advice provided by EY Law, which comprises more than 2,400 lawyers in 84 countries, including through an alternative business structure licence in England and Wales.

Thomson Reuters bought Pangea3 – which used to be called a legal process outsourcer – in 2010.

EY’s acquisition of Riverview Law last August was also done to enhance and scale its LMS offering and “help clients to increase efficiency, manage risk, improve service transparency and reduce costs of routine legal activities”.

Chris Price, the EY partner who led on that deal, told Legal Futures that Riverview was set for a huge global expansion over the following five years, with the plan was to increase staff numbers from 100 to 3,000.
accountants  process  mergers 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
The Day After: Thoughts On The EY / Thomson Reuters LMS Deal – Artificial Lawyer
AL remembers back at the time of the deal noting that it seemed a bit unusual in terms of cannibalising legal work. But, TR seemed happy.

However, now the world has changed. Aside from TR stripping out parts of the business that it doesn’t see as core any longer, for example the sale of the Financial and Risk group, the time when law firms didn’t see LPOs and process-focused legal businesses as a threat is over.

This is because there is going to be a bifurcation in the world of legal work, between complex and process. And law firms still want to hold onto the process work. If they didn’t they would not be investing in legal AI systems, or building process centres in less expensive parts of the world.
accountants  process  merger 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
EY to expand legal services offerings globally with acquisition of the Pangea3 business from Thomson Reuters
EY and Thomson Reuters today announce an agreement for the acquisition of the Thomson Reuters Pangea3 Legal Managed Services (LMS) business by various firms in the EY network. Following the recent acquisition of Riverview Law, EY Law practices are broadening further their depth and capacity to serve corporate legal departments around the world. The acquisition will bolster the ability for EY Law practices to help clients transform their practices and deliver meaningful value to their businesses. 
Pangea3 is an award-winning leader in legal managed services, with more than 1,000 legal professionals across eight service delivery locations on three continents. By leveraging legal, technical and business-process talent in quality, cost-effective centers, Pangea3 helps clients mitigate legal risks, reduce burdensome costs and provide continuity and scale to budget-strapped legal teams.

The acquisition will greatly enhance EY technology-enabled legal managed services in the three core areas of contract lifecycle management, regulatory risk and compliance, and investigations and litigation. In addition, EY Law practices, comprising more than 2,400 lawyers in 84 countries, will continue to rapidly grow their Legal Advisory services.  
accountants  competition  process  it  mergers 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
EY in talks to acquire Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services: What we know | Legal IT Insider
Insiders are officially staying tight-lipped over whether EY is in talks to acquire Thomson Reuters legal managed services division, but we understand from a credible source that is indeed the case, as Thomson Reuters’ regroups and focuses its efforts on its content and technology offerings.

Thomson Reuters has been engaged in over a year of wholesale restructuring, starting with the sale in 2018 of its financial and risk business to funds managed by Blackstone, for which it received around $17bn in gross proceeds.

The sale meant it had cash in the bank for the restructuring drive, which started at senior executive level in around June 2018: Brian Peccarelli was appointed as co-chief operating officer alongside Neil Masterson. Four senior executives left the business including highly respected president of legal, Susan Taylor Martin.

The business was restructured around three customer segments:

– Legal professionals, including law firms; government; academics and the Bar, led directly by Peccarelli;

– Corporates, including all the work that Thomson Reuters does with corporations, whether the GC or CFO, led by Piotr Marczewski; and

– Tax Professionals, including all the work Thomson Reuters does with accountants, led by Charlotte Rushton.

Within the legal professionals segment, there are now five distinct businesses: the circa $600m small law segment (headed by Mark Haddad); mid-size law firms (headed by Barb McGivern); global large law and Canada (led by Neil Sternthal); US government (headed by Steve Rubley); and Europe, which includes the UK and Ireland, plus Thomson Reuters’ Spanish business (led by Lucinda Case).

Each of those groups has its own head of product, technology and marketing and, aside from in the small law segment, will now sell the entire stable of client products including Practical Law, Westlaw, Contract Express and the Elite technology stack including 3E and eBillingHub in a significant departure from the previous business model and strategy, which was focussed on product lines.

The big focus now, as evidenced by Thomson Reuters release of major new workflow and pricing solution Panoramic, is on becoming more of a technology business and knitting these offerings together – something that is welcomed by customers, who can now focus holistically on their end goals.

Thomson Reuters, which is listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges, is understood to have a substantial sum of money put aside for further investment in technology, where the margins are significantly higher than in services.
accountants  process  it  mergers  competition 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
Axiom To Go Public in USA – But What Difference Will It Make? – Artificial Lawyer
But….to the bigger question: what does it mean?

Axiom has raised a total of $28M in funding according to Crunchbase, back in 2013. The group has been going since 2000 and grew from a lawyers on demand business to something far greater and more complex.

So, the shareholders are going to get rich. But, what of the strategy? Ah…well……To complicate matters they have also made the company into three companies:

Axiom, on-demand corporate legal talent;
Knowable, enterprise contracts intelligence;
and Axiom Managed Solutions, next-generation solutions for complex legal work at scale – i.e. a managed legal services arm or MLS.
So….this seems to suggest that the lawyers on demand bit – i.e. Axiom is what will get the massive injection of $$$…which, if that’s the case won’t really make a big impact on things, as it’s not systemic enough to change how law firms/clients work. It just builds scale.

However, if Knowable and the MLS bits were also involved in the IPO, that’s another story…and would be an interesting foil to the growth of Elevate.

…right, just heard back from their spokesperson: it’s just the Axiom – lawyers on demand bit that will do the IPO.

OK, so now we have a more clear picture. And much as it would be great to say this will change the world, it probably won’t. Having a far larger service to provide lawyers as and when needed to corporates and also law firms may create competition for the other on demand services out there, including that of Elevate, and those of some law firms in the market. But, on demand lawyers alone won’t change the means of legal production.
newlaw  project  flex  process 
march 2019 by JordanFurlong
Explaining Elevate’s Recent Acquisitions (088) | Legal Evolution
We thought long and hard about where our gaps were. We didn’t want to poach from our competitors, so we decided that the best way forward was to invite seasoned leaders to join Elevate, by persuading them to tie their rafts to ours. We then asked customers (even including those that had decided not to work with Elevate) to tell us which entrepreneurs, managers, and companies they thought were our best competitors!

How would we finance all these organic investments and acquisitions in a way that ensured that management didn’t give up control? The law department of one of our customers, Morgan Stanley, introduced us to their private credit and equity group, Expansion Capital. The Expansion Capital team’s advice was helpful in designing our growth financing strategy. By the end of 2017, we closed a $25 million credit facility with them to finance organic investments and the strategic acquisitions.

The acquisitions we made were based on the following three pillars that have been at the heart of Elevate for many years: Strategy, Culture, and Customers.
process  competition  strategy  newlaw  management 
march 2019 by JordanFurlong
Thomson Reuters Releases New Workflow Solution Panoramic With Law Firm Input | Legaltech News
The solution was designed to help firms to increase transparency and provide a more effective way to predict profitability, something that corporate clients are looking for as they aim to cut costs and do more with less.

“We know that clients continue to take more [work] in-house, and law firms across the globe for years have been forced to pivot towards efficiency more,” said Elisabet Hardy, vice president of financial and practice management at Thomson Reuters.
The initial release, scheduled for April 8, will target the United States and the United Kingdom, but Hardy said the company could explore other territories down the line. The product was built on top of Thomson Reuters’ financial management system 3E and received input from the law firms of LeClairRyan and K&L Gates during the development process.

Speaking of development, key to the architecture of the solution are “Matter Maps,” which break a given project down into phases and associated tasks. Practice areas that can be addressed in detail include corporate M&A, capital markets, litigation and finance.

Attorneys can use Panoramic to assign tasks to themselves or another lawyer, which come complete with due dates and billing codes. The nature or particulars of those assignments can then be adapted mid-process as the need arises.

Christopher Lange, an attorney at LeClairRyan and the liaison on the Panoramic project, said the solution can give lower-level attorneys a broader view (hence “Panoramic”) of a matter beyond the individual duties assigned to them. Clients will also be able to view in real-time how their projects are unfolding.

The ability to track that progress could be useful as corporations rethink the way their legal bills are calculated. Per Lange, clients are increasingly looking at other alternative fee arrangements to replace the traditional billable hours structure that has dominated the legal industry.

“And a law firm’s ability to both commit to the client to do that and then manage the work profitably is going to be a real key to success as we see the market moving more towards alternative fee arrangements and further away from only looking at rates times hours,” Lange said.
it  process  pricing 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Well hello, Project X! | Legal IT Insider
‘Panoramic’, as we now know the worst kept secret under the sun is called, has been designed to meet law firms’ complex needs on pricing; cost and process; project management; and knowledge and data. It leverages TR’s deep resources in everything from practice management to practice notes.

The brainchild of PLC editor David Rawson, Panoramic enables fee-earners to plan how a transaction or case will be resourced, how much it will cost and what it should be priced at.  Once those figures have been decided (the UI is impressive) the system will track and flag the impact of any changes down the line so that they can be revisited as a transaction or case twists and turns.

Created with heavy input and testing from law firms throughout its development, Panoramic includes brand new customisable matter maps created in conjunction with the PLC editorial team, which breaks down the stages it takes to execute a legal matter, with embedded guidance both in terms of practice notes and links to precedents – both PLC/TR’s and the firm’s own previous documents.

TR has invested a lot of time in creating out-of-the-box sequential matter map tiles, but firms can also switch tiles around and create their own maps from scratch.

Once a matter is planned, partners can assign tasks and there is a dashboard that gives them easy visibility into the projects currently on the go and where those projects sit against budget.

No wonder, then, that during our ahead-of-release demo, Elizabet Hardy, vice president of product management, told Legal IT Insider: “A lot of our clients, when they see Panoramic for the first time, say, ‘This is the holy grail’.”
it  process  pricing 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Mandatory Budgets? At a Law Firm? You Have Got to Be … Thompson Hine | The American Lawyer
Despite the unanimous agreement to budget all matters, it was not without some resistance. After announcing the policy, some partners, in jest, compared Lamb to Hernán Cortés, the Spanish general who in 1519 ordered his troops to burn their ships on the shores of Mexico as they prepared for battle.

But there was no going back, Lamb said.

“Lawyers are like cats. They don’t like to be herded,” Lamb said. “But I had learned over time that if you tell professionals what you really expect from them and hold them to it, they respond much better than if you just ask.”

Read said the firm’s strategy in spreading adoption of the tool worked. “We got more core converts and more secondary adopters,” she said.

Better Budgets
More law departments are requiring that their outside counsel provide budgets for legal matters. At companies with more than 51 in-house lawyers, 64 percent of general counsel require budgets from their law firm partners, according to a 2018 Altman Weil survey. That figure is up from 57 percent the year prior.

Still, general counsel are somewhat frustrated by the results. More than 1 in 5 general counsel said requiring budgets did not result in significant cost control improvements. That was the highest rate of dissatisfaction among 15 different strategies to control costs, such as shifting work to lower cost firms or using alternative fees.

One reason for the frustration may be that having a budget doesn’t mean you will stick to it. Read and Lamb are now fighting that battle at Thompson Hine.

The firm’s budgeting system is tied in with real-time billing data, and the system sends Lamb alerts when lawyers are going over budget for particular phases of the matter. When those alerts first started rolling in, Lamb said he would call partners and ask what was sending the case over budget. That led to some “culture shock,” Lamb said, where partners would push back against having “their” matters managed by the firm.

His response: “It’s the firm’s case. It’s the firm’s resources. You’re putting the firm’s associates on the matter. And the firm has some say in how you use its resources.”

Lamb now has a paralegal who handles those conversations, which he says are becoming smoother.
process  budgets  client  firms  innovation  management  leadership 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
'Change' Is a Mantra for Law Firms, But Will They Tune In? |
To Ralph Baxter, the former chairman of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, nearly everything about law firms will need to change if they are to be successful in the near future. They will need to re-examine their financial model; their resources model; their underlying legal services delivery model; and their investment model, Baxter said.
“Associates earn $200,000 when they barely know where the office is,” said Baxter, who is now a board member of professional services technology company Intapp. “That is the lowest-cost resource in a law firm. And you’re going to compete with [alternative providers]? Nobody starting from scratch would start with that model. And so you have to address that. And if you’re not willing to address that, you’re not going to have a chance at competing.”

While Baxter’s message may ultimately be right, according to James Goodnow, the managing partner of Am Law 200 firm Fennemore Craig, there is also a risk that what conversations about change will be tuned out by law firm partners who are still making healthy salaries from traditional law firm models.

“Until it starts hitting partners in the pocketbook, they will not believe it,” Goodnow said. “There is no existential threat, or perceived existential threat, and so that is why there’s no change. So what’s the problem? We are all part of the problem. We have been saying the same thing over and over again. We’ve said, ‘Change is coming. We need to rethink everything.’ And the partners at the law firms have heard this. And it’s like the boy who cried wolf. Nothing has happened. And the law firm partners are doing very well. So because of that, you have tremendous skepticism among a group of people who are very skeptical to begin with.”
change  innovation  process  firms  partners  competition 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Walmart's In-House Counsel Tells How the Retail Giant Is Changing Its Legal Ops | Corporate Counsel
He explained that until the turn of this century, the large retailer was heavily leveraging outside counsel and realized that, along with the policy of taking all cases to trial, needed to change. The first issue that Walmart needed to fix was a lack of centralization in the legal department.
Walmart’s legal department first put all of their outside counsel on the same engagement letter—they decided to have the same terms for all outside counsel.

“What we had found is that sometimes with the same firm, we would have different engagement letters,” Bryan explained.

Walmart’s legal department then took all of the data it collected over the years and organized it to be easily searchable.

“We wanted to be able to accomplish an accurate way of reporting out on things like spend and the performance of outside counsel,” Bryan said.

There was also a turn toward time-saving technology that would allow lawyers to take more time to focus on more difficult tasks.

“We announced a partnership with a company called LegalMation and we’re using software to take a complaint filed against the company—generally speaking in tort and in general litigation matters—feeding that complaint into the system and the system, within two minutes, kicks out an answer, a first set of interrogatories and a first set of requests for production. That is reviewed by an attorney but what we’ve found is that it is saving 60 to 70 percent of the time that would normally take to review that complaint,” Bryan explained.
clients  it  process 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
How to Take the Work Out of Your Workflow - Attorney at Work
A recent study by Clio found that, on average, a mere quarter of an attorney’s working hours are spent on billable tasks — and the percentage is even lower for solo practitioners. Technology can address this problem. However, let’s face it: There are more technology solutions for lawyers than ever before, and the options can seem overwhelming. Every new legal tech vendor claims to be the cure for your practice woes, but how can you even determine which technology you need in the first place?

How Lawyers Can Use Process Mapping
As an attorney and now the CEO of a legal tech company, I use a concept known as “process mapping.” You can apply the same methodology to identify which areas of your legal workflow are ripe for automation.

Is It Repetitive, Administrative or Substantive?
So, how do lawyers apply business process mapping to save hundreds of hours every year? Process mapping starts with a breakdown of every step a lawyer takes in performing a legal transaction. After identifying the steps, divide each step into separate tasks. These tasks should then be categorized into repetitive, administrative and substantive items.
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Legal’s 2019 Tech Challenge: Getting Everyone on the Same Page | Corporate Counsel
For many legal departments, the demands of 2019 will not be much different from recent years: Do more work with less resources.

“The scope of work in many legal functions has increased, and the amount of work various legal teams are tasked with [has increased], with not significant increases in their ­budgets or headcount,” says Sowmyan “Sam” Ranganathan, senior director of information governance and legal ops at pharmaceutical company AbbVie and chair of the ­Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) legal operations group.

Facing such belt-tightening, legal departments are striving to elicit efficiencies by learning skills like project management and, equally as important, leveraging legal technology.

Ranganathan says that for many this year, such technology will likely include contract management and workflow automation products. But there are other platforms corporate legal teams are eyeing to streamline their operations as well.
clients  it  process  newlaw  innovation 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Law firms have debts to pay before investing in innovation
Let’s stretch the analogy further and look the forms of debt that many law firms have accrued:

Technical debt: over the past 2–3 decades law firm have acquired and installed layers upon layers of operational systems. And then added more layers to make them work together, as they are all from different providers on different platforms. And then added more layers to extract value from them, such as BI and analytics tool. And for some firms, this is on top of custom-coded software undoubtedly containing some technical debt of it’s own. This is a very complex and expensive challenge, which creates drag and friction in operations. 💰

Data debt: within these systems lies a vast amount of business and practice information. In many law firms I’ve advised, we’ve encountered tens of millions of documents in DMS or RMS systems and hundreds of millions of time entries in billing systems going back many years. Unfortunately, over the years this data was not always curated, categorized or otherwise captured in ways that support new needs around business and practice analytics. It is a very expensive proposition to go retroactively update all of this data, and we can’t wind back the clock. 💰

Procedural debt: for decades, lawyers have “sold law” by the hour while non-lawyers did their best to support them. For reasons that have been well covered in the legal market, this is no longer tenable. But changing the way lawyers have always worked and how legal services are delivered to clients is a monumental challenge. Almost every professional, cultural and economic incentive in a law firm fights against this change, which makes it a very expensive and risky undertaking.💰

Structural debt: the law firm itself, usually a partnership operating on a cash-based model in which equity partners withdraw all profits each year, is also being challenged. How can a firm properly invest in its future, or pay down the debts I describe, in this model? Furthermore firms cannot accept outside investment thanks to ABA and state bar regulation, so their only recourse is to incur bank debt to cover the other debts, or to ask the partners to pay in themselves. This is a big ask. 💰
management  innovation  data  process 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
Offering Flat-Fee, Limited-Scope Legal Help, New Site Sounds Like Avvo Legal Services, But with Key Differences | LawSites
Marchbanks founded the site together with Amber M. Rush, his partner in his Washington law practice and CEO of Basic Counsel, and two developers. They have been developing the concept for the site since before Avvo Legal Services launched, he says. Their goal was to develop a better and more transparent way for consumers to shop for legal services and for attorneys to commoditize at scale the cookbook-type services they provide. Ultimately, they believe, their platform could help narrow the gap in access to justice.

In posting packages to the site, attorneys are asked to outline and describe the steps involved in performing a service. These outlines serve two purposes. They help consumers understand the scope of a service before purchasing it. And, once the service is purchased, the outline keeps both the client and the attorney informed of the progress of the matter.

Both the client and the attorney can track and manage their cases through a dashboard. The steps outlined for the service are added to the dashboard and the system reminds attorneys of tasks due to be performed. Once the task is performed, the attorney checks a box and the client is notified automatically. That may trigger a next step for either the client or the attorney. In this way, the platform functions as a project-management tool, Marchbanks says.

An attorney can modify steps or timelines “within reason,” Marchbanks says, but the attorney must adhere to the quoted fee.
access  clients  process  ethics 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
Law and Order – Kim R. Craig – Medium
To get to a budget, you must define scope. But lawyers had shied away from scoping conversations for decades because “scope creep” (which project managers fear but plan for) was a great thing from their point of view because that meant more work, more dollars. Telling lawyers scope creep was a bad thing was hard to get across. I believe, but for that client demand on pricing predictability, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I wouldn’t have had the career I have had and I wouldn’t be writing this article. Project managers in legal would have remained within IT or doing operational back office projects where they continue to be much needed and contributing to organizational success.
process  pricing 
august 2018 by JordanFurlong
How decision trees work
Decision trees are one of my favorite models. They are simple, and they are powerful. In fact most high performing Kaggle entries are a combination of XGBoost, which is variant of decision tree, and some very clever feature engineering.
process  decisiontrees 
july 2018 by JordanFurlong
Corporate Law 2.0: What It Means to Be a 'Chief Legal Innovation Counsel' | Corporate Counsel
I simplify the way we work and reach better outcomes, whether that means reducing cost or reducing risks, finding more efficiencies and producing better quality and substantive results. Oftentimes, these outcomes can be unlocked or enhanced by harnessing the power of legal tech, and that is certainly a huge element of the role.

I would also add the role of chief legal innovation counsel is an in-house variation of the chief innovation officer role that has started to take root at law firms but is still fairly fresh and new in the in-house world. Part of the role right now is defining the role.

How closely will you work with the legal operations team?

I have a natural synergistic partnership with the legal operations team at Marsh & McLennan.  Think of it as the interplay between operations representing current state—“keeping the lights on,” as they say—and innovation ushering in the future state, like an R&D lab. I remain the subject matter expert on discovery, but I also offer the broader innovation vision: the why, the what, and also elements of the how.

The operations team helps with the how and also does the blocking and tackling, but there is an element of give and take across these generalities, meaning the operations team may be the source of great innovative ideas, and I will roll up my sleeves to get in the weeds.
client  ops  it  process 
may 2018 by JordanFurlong
UnitedLex-GE Deal: Barbarians at Big Law's Gate (or ... Meh)? |
According to the survey (see chart below), there is much more cross-over in the value proposition being presented between ALSPs and internal legal departments than that between ALSPs and law firms. This would suggest that, currently, ALSPs are more likely to take work that was already in-sourced than to steal work that was previously being sent to outside counsel.

In-house leaders, the survey results demonstrate, turn to outside counsel, not for reasons of cost or efficiency, but when they need legal experts to help them navigate complex, high stakes issues. Law firms leaders would be wise to take a hard look at how they stack up to their competition in terms of expertise and experience.

Does this mean New Law is not a threat to Big Law? I’d argue that law firms still should watch their backs.

Market Free-for-All

Axiom, another prominent ALSP, recently launched a Brexit AI tool. Commenting about the move on Twitter, Ron Friedmann, a partner at Fireman & Co. and a Fellow in The College of Law Practice Management, wryly mused whether Axiom was taking business that law firms never wanted in the first place.

But, there are law firms that want that business. Mayer Brown, for example, launched a Brexit toolkit in September 2016 and Hogan Lovells offers one too. And, don’t forget about the Big Four. Deloitte also wants in on the Brexit business.

That said, Friedmann’s point is well-taken. Some firms get so wrapped-up in the myth of their unique ability to provide superior expertise that begin to believe they are beneath focusing on legal solutions that are deemed “low value” or “commoditized.”

To those firms, I offer a word of caution. Nearly every market has room for elite, high-end service providers, but not every firm has the capacity to fill that role. Ignoring the day-to-day concerns of law departments to focus solely on bet-the-company matters is a risky proposition.
competition  process  innovation  firms  clients 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
The Client Quest for Value - Innovation, Insourcing, and Outsourcing - Prism Legal
ying this together, I think we can make sense from the disparate items, see both bad and good news. The bad news: we lack good metrics and client perceptions of law firm innovation are low. The good news: clients may well be wrong and, if correct, can make other moves to compensate. Hiring more in-house lawyers reduces cost but does not fundamentally change who does the work or how. The promise of the UnitedLex deals – and any comparable moves – is to go beyond labor cost arbitrage.

To answer my opening question about drawing conclusions from this disparate news I turn to my first blog post this year. In it, I argued innovation only matters if changes the training- and pay-level of people doing  work and how they do it. These news items reinforce my conclusion. We must focus on scoping matters more carefully; sticking to scope; working more efficiently with technology, KM, and process improvement; and delegating to lower cost lawyers and other professionals. This will require more than just boosting the number of in-house lawyers.
innovation  process  clients  outsourcing 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
The Rise (and Fall?) of In-House Counsel | Corporate Counsel
The data suggest a more complex dynamic. Yes, the growth in the number of in-house lawyers has outpaced the broader market, as has the growth in their compensation levels, leading to swollen legal department costs. Naturally, companies are finding ways to lower this cost. Routine work was taken from Big Law and brought in-house to lower costs; now it’s moving from in-house to “new law” outsourced service providers to reduce costs further.

This is only half the story. The data also show that the cost differential that drove displacement of work from Big Law to in-house has not diminished and that in-house lawyers can handle increasingly complex matters. Thus, we can expect the displacement from Big Law to in-house to continue and to center on work of greater sophistication.

With both displacements happening simultaneously, general counsel will increasingly operate ambidextrously: taking work from Big Law to execute in-house with one hand, while outsourcing work currently executed in-house to outsourced service providers with the other. This is a once-in-a-career moment for forward-thinking general counsel: push less-interesting work out, take more interesting work in, and earn plaudits from management for lowering the company’s overall legal cost.

It’s a less august moment for Big Law lawyers whose services aren’t especially distinct from those an in-house lawyer might expect to perform. The opportunity for such struggling Big Law lawyers? Take the comp hit of moving in-house now rather than take an even bigger hit as part of the wave of partner departures that will accompany the next market downturn.
firms  clients  process 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
ALSPs Coming-of-Age Is Putting In-House Counsel in the Driver Seat of Industry Restructuring | Corporate Counsel
There’s a segment of Am Law 100 work that legal departments won’t take in-house. It’s the work that an individual corporation doesn’t do often or that bets the company. It’s probably about half of the work that the Am Law does today. The other half? It’s going in-house over the next 20 years. One can legitimately argue about the percentage of work that will go in-house over what time frame. But it’s a moot point. It’s inarguable that the displaced volume is of a scale sufficient to precipitate a major industry restructuring. Most law firm leaders know this and that their firms have to change. The problem is that rank-and-file partners have no motivation to change; they don’t feel sufficiently financially, or otherwise, at risk. As one managing partner said to me recently: how do you tell a room full of millionaires that they have to change? The answer is, of course, that you don’t. Rather, you orchestrate a process that lets them come to the realization on their own that their evolving in response to the changing market is vital to their leaving a dynamic firm to the next generation. But that’s a longer topic for another day.
clients  competition  firms  process 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
GE Inks Legal Outsourcing Deal With UnitedLex, Eying Big Savings |
The UnitedLex partnership will save GE between $40 and $50 million and allow it to repurpose as many as 75 lawyers, with some of those transitioning to UnitedLex, according to one person familiar with the deal.

“GE’s legal team embraced early the use of data, analytics and automation to improve our delivery of legal services, and this new enterprise services engagement with UnitedLex is a big step forward in continuing our digital transformation,” William “Mo” Cowan, GE’s vice president of global litigation and legal policy of GE, said in a statement.

“UnitedLex understands our strategic objectives and challenges, and is committed to creating efficiencies that will deliver business impact and create more value for GE and its shareholders,” Cowan said.

Daniel Reed, the CEO of UnitedLex, said the GE deal, along with partnerships it plans with other corporate law departments, “renders traditional models obsolete.”

By working with UnitedLex, companies’ corporate law departments are lowering both their risk profile and cost structure, he said.

“We have a lot invested in the evolution of the law business and we have a long-term view of it,” Reed said.

A ‘Revolution?’
As a result of the deal, which touches every active GE matter, GE has abandoned its pre-existing panel of legal technology vendors, according to Christine Hasiotis. Late last year, shortly before GE and UnitedLex expanded their relationship in January, Hasiotis moved from GE, where she was director of the company’s legal support solutions, to become a senior vice president and deputy general counsel at UnitedLex.
clients  process  competition  innovation  outsourcing 
march 2018 by JordanFurlong
A Look at What's in Store for GE's In-House Counsel After UnitedLex Deal | Corporate Counsel
On Thursday, Corporate Counsel asked William Deckelman, executive vice president and general counsel of DXC Technology Co., which made a larger scale but similar deal with UnitedLex last December, whether that partnership has met his expectations.

“We’ve actually exceeded them,” Deckelman said. “I am a believer.” UnitedLex delivered on its promise of a 30 percent savings, and more, he said.

DXC expects to save $1 billion overall, with additional savings over the next five years. The company was able to implement a new digital contracting solution that can process more than 65 million contracts per year, as well as a central hub for all department communications, such as project management initiatives, training materials, and team calendars. New technology also helps with global monitoring, reporting and management of outside counsel spend.

Deckelman acknowledged the change was a culture shock that required a lot of communication, both with his superiors and his legal team.

Before the contract, DXC had around 525 lawyers, he said. Now it has 125. Another 225 lawyers “rebadged” and joined UnitedLex, but still work with DXC.

“We are doing the same amount of high-quality work with 40 percent fewer resources,” he said. “The productivity is much greater than I even expected.” The lawyers did not take salary cuts at UnitedLex, he added.

A few in-house attorneys quit, rather than join UnitedLex, he said, but there was no major attrition. “This is not for everyone,” Deckelman explained. “People have different aspirations in their careers, but by and large I think the team is happy and engaged and energetic.”

He said he has not received one phone call from a disgruntled employee.

The reason the Tysons Corner, Virginia, company can now do more and do it for less is because UnitedLex has “the technology platforms, the process discipline and the project management discipline to run that kind of operation,” Deckelman said. “They are very focused.”

The change has worked well for most in-house attorneys, he said, because it’s opened up a new world of opportunities for them. “They are seeing best practices not just here but in the entire market, and they see a career trajectory with long-term alternatives,” he said.
competition  process  innovation  clients  newlaw 
march 2018 by JordanFurlong
“NewLaw and BigLaw are stronger together”: Stephen Allen on Hogan Lovells’ flexible lawyering partnership with Elevate – Legal IT Insider
And what do you mean by ‘understanding of client service?’

They understand timeliness and it was important to us to have a global reach. Initially this service is for the UK market, but the intention is that we’d like to expand it globally, and having somebody who operates globally is important.

Tell us how your Elevated Lawyers pool will be used?

They’ve got an initial pre-approved pool. We have, through our own guidelines, a set of criteria that we require and Elevate will only initially connect us with people who meet our criteria. The intention is, over time we’d like to use this as an opportunity to work with our alumni. We spend a lot of money and time training people and maintaining that relationship is important. We know the chemistry is there and we will give an option to our alumni to join and Elevate will help us look after that alumni, which involves a lot of work in keeping them connected, organised and looked after.

Clients are always looking for access to help on secondments. There are times when we can fulfil that and times when it’s a challenge – we might have someone, but clients might want a nine year GDPR lawyer and we have a six year privacy lawyer. This partnership gives us an opportunity to offer something additional to our clients. But also, there are times when we’re busy on a project such as GDPR or Brexit, when for a condensed period of time there will be a lot of demand for the same sort of resources and the ability to call on this pool will be very important and will give us a pool with a defined criteria.

The key thing for me is that this demonstrates that both NewLaw and BigLaw are stronger when they work together – and Elevate would agree with that.
firms  competition  newlaw  innovation  process  offshoring 
february 2018 by JordanFurlong
Resetting the Process: An inside look at the state of legal operations | In-House Ops
necdotally, I would estimate that most corporations in this industry, 60 percent or so, are at the foundational level in terms of building out their operations function. About 35 percent are at an advanced level. They’ve done some really good things, but they’ve got much room to improve. Only about 5 percent are at what we would consider a mature level, and even those have some significant areas left for improvement.

Brenton: Prior to operations, we had been solutioning in silos, and we have evidence that that doesn’t work. It might look good on paper, but when you go to implement, it just doesn’t work.

On Embracing Technology

Franke: When we look at the CLOC operations maturity model, a lot of companies have implemented or started to implement the basics. But if you look at a competency like dashboards and data analytics, a competency found in somewhat more mature ops functions, we see that this is an area that’s still beyond the grasp of many companies. So, while a percentage of companies may be moving down the path to operational maturity a bit quicker and may be a bit further along, in some cases having adopted a lot of tools and AI, many other companies are still near ground zero. Even a technology like contracts management has only been implemented by maybe 50 percent of corporations, and most don’t have robust implementations with comprehensive processes to support their tool.

Brenton: I think the tech companies have been much more collaborative and willing to share because we’re not regulated and have a culture that is different in terms of sharing information about processes.

On Billing Methods – and Market Forces

Franke: It’s not so much about getting away from the billable hour as it is about what things should cost. When you hire a contractor to do work on your house, they fix their bid based on the different resources that they have to bring to the table – plumbers, electricians – and what that’s going to cost them. There’s an underlying hourly rate there, but they know how many hours it’s going to take to install a new faucet or sink. They don’t try to figure it out for every job.

Law firms, however, start from scratch every time they do an M&A deal or a tech transaction or an employment contract. Good contractors know how to do a remodel and when to use tools rather than manual labor, and they know how to staff a job.

That’s not been the case with law firms. We’re getting away from that – firms are gathering data, figuring out optimal staffing models, determining when to outsource, etc. That allows them to offer AFAs that are win-win.
firms  ops  clients  metrics  data  pricing  process 
february 2018 by JordanFurlong
2018 Prediction - Lawyers Must Change How They Work - Prism Legal
Beyond AI and innovation, many approaches with less PR sizzle arguably have more impact short term. Specifically, firms can do more and better knowledge management (KM), legal project management (LPM), practice technologies, and process improvement. In my consulting, I saw more firms in 2017, even some in the top 20, invest in all of these. I expect that trend to accelerate in 2018. It may be less sexy than AI or innovation, but done right, we know all these techniques can deliver value to clients quickly. These techniques too, however, require that lawyers change how they work.
process  innovation  competition 
january 2018 by JordanFurlong
Clifford Chance rolls out 'black belt' efficiency coaches to global network after £15m savings last year | Legal Week
Clifford Chance (CC) is expanding its team of ‘black belt’ coaches – who are tasked with helping the firm’s lawyers to work more efficiently – to its network of offices around the world.

The team is part of CC’s ‘continuous improvement’ initiative, which was launched in London in 2013, when three external coaches – known as ‘black belts’ – were deployed to train the firm’s lawyers to identify inefficiencies in the way they work.

CC now has about 10 black belt coaches and four legal project managers based in London, the Netherlands and Hong Kong, after merging the continuous improvement team with its City project management team. According to the firm, the team contributed to £15m in savings during the last financial year, having saved in excess of £7m the year before.

Global client solutions head Oliver Campbell says the firm is now building up what it calls ‘best delivery hubs’ in five regions – the Americas, London, continental Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East – which will eventually be staffed by at least three people.
january 2018 by JordanFurlong
Altman Weil’s latest report: ‘Cost certainty trumps process efficiency’ | RWS_01's B[D]log
Following on from my post last week that the ‘Billable hour remains the pricing method of choice for Australian law firms’, Altman Weil’s ‘2017 Chief Legal Officer Survey’, published later in the week – and now in its eighteenth year – throws a different light on this debate.

The big take-out for me can be found on page vi of the Executive Summary – namely that in-house lawyers now see ‘cost certainty‘ as being more important to them than ‘process efficiency‘.

Specifically, page vi states:

“Costs over process”.

Think about that for a second – because it’s massive if you happen to be in private practice.

Crucially, though, is this comment (also on page vi of the Executive Summary):-

It is easier for law departments to demand cost reductions from providers and let them determine how to achieve lower fees.

So what do we have here?:-

cost certainty over process efficiency, and
private practice being allowed to determine how to achieve lower fees.
QED: If you’re in private practice and don’t have, (a) a robust Legal Project Management system/program, plus (b) data and analysis on the profitability of fixed fees that you can/should be offering…
pricing  process  clients  firms 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
New Study: GCs Have Brought The Majority Of Work In-House | Above the Law
The 2017 In-House Legal Benchmarking Report from Exterro polled a number of in-house legal personnel about their business and found that everyone’s bringing more and more under the company tent as we’ve suspected for some time. And they’re doing it for the most obvious reason of all:

When asked why they brought more work in-house, they most frequently responded that it was because they could (they had built or expanded internal capacity and now were using it), to save money, or because better software had become available.

Because I can! Perhaps this could be phrased better than invoking the go to excuse of a toddlercaught reaching into a cookie jar, but this is a serious reason that spells trouble for Biglaw. While lawyers worry about AI building robot lawyers to displace attorneys — a fear that’s mostly overblown — the real technological threat to Biglaw is in easing once formidable legal processes to the point that in-house departments present a more cost-effective option than outsourcing. Legal holds and other document preservation tasks can be handled cheaper and more cost-effectively than ever by clients with the right tools. With clients reporting that they’ll be investing in more software solutions going forward, this inward flow of work shows no signs of stopping.

Where does that leave the outside counsel landscape?

And we suspect the likely outside winners will fit into two broad categories: those who can deliver standardized services efficiently, effectively, and at a very low cost, or at least lower than can be achieved internally; and those who deliver custom and specialized services — bespoke services — that only the rare corporation is likely to invest in developing itself.
metrics  clients  it  robo  process  firms 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
Why Efficient Legal Departments are Not Rocket Science: A Conversation with GSK’s Justin Ergler – Big Law Business
Justin Ergler is not a lawyer by training, but, as he would tell you, “It’s NOT rocket science.” “It” refers to running an efficient legal department in 2017, something Ergler has made his mission at pharmaceutical giant GSK where he is Director of Alternative Fee Intelligence and Analytics. I met Justin earlier this year at the CLOC Institute in Las Vegas where experts like him had come to share their experience and discuss best practices.

What is GSK doing to create a next-generation legal department and how can other companies replicate their success? Starting Thursday October 26, eDiscovery software company Relativity will be sponsoring a conversation with Ergler that will unfold live on Big Law Business? To follow along like a fly on the wall as the conversations unfolds, enter your email in the box below.
pricing  process  client  innovation 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
Legal-Services Innovation: A Framework and Roadmap for Leveraging Technology | LegalTech Lever
My article focuses on a “people, process, technology” framework  for re-engineering legal services, identifying categories of legal-technology competences, and employing “lean thinking,” not only to improve processes, but to create organizations focused on continuous improvement and innovation from the bottom up. My proposed roadmap, however, is less explicit. I plan to develop this further in future posts. For now, I’ll highlight a few key components of the roadmap:
process  lean  innovation 
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
Prism Legal Document Assembly in the Real World (Live #ArkKM) - Prism Legal
Faster, better, cheaper, smarter, happier > the key drivers.

When billing by the hour, faster drafting makes a practice more competitive. One firm cites big drop in write-offs – and cost reduction – by using D/A.

Faster is great, but must also deliver high value. One firm says using D/A right way takes time from 40 hours to 20 minutes.

D/A ensures higher consistency than humans can.

Re-allocate lawyer time from mechanical drafting to higher value, critical thinking.

Practice analytics, for example, capture party data systematically

Embed training in the document to assist new lawyers.

Improve lawyer satisfaction by reducing drudge work.

Collaborate more effectively with clients.

Benefit form vendor-provided, ready-to-go templates.


Leadership buy-in: Management may be skeptical that it’s possible to automate complex documents. One way to overcome: do a proof a concept.

Form development: Can be hard and time consuming. Some practices have forms that are not so good, they may blame D/A software or KM for fact that it’s hard to automate form – when the form itself is bad. Another example: one practice realized, from doing PoC, that it had to change it forms. Note that some providers, not just D/A ones, provide forms.

Billable hour reductions: Management may not like reduction in hours = “Associate Killing Technology”.

Commoditization fears

Cost concenrs

Labor / staffing

Training opportunities: More senior lawyers say “I learned by spending hours or weeks going through a form – others should do so”. Panelists believe that’s not necessary. (RF: I agree with panel)


Is It the Right Solution?

Volume of use must be high enough to justify investment in building an automated form.

If turn aound time is key, then yes.

If consistency is critical, then yes.

If firm or practice faces price pressure, yes.

If keeping associates is a goal, yes.

If above answers are no, you may have to wait.
docs  it  firms  process  laterals 
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
3 Geeks and a Law Blog: Give Me Some Change
I remember one of my first lawyer conversations around LPM - a few years and firms back. A big-ticket litigator was blathering on about why the firm would have to embrace LPM to remain competitive. I turned the question on him and asked him what he would do when a project manager questioned his overuse of resources on a particular task. His reply: I would tell them to get the hell out of my office. (He actually did not use the word "hell," but that was as much as I thought I could get away with here). That interaction stuck with me over the years.
process  innovation  change  firms 
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
Big Four vs. Big Law: The Race to Change Legal Services Delivery | Big Law Business
n fact, the continued presence and reemergence of the Big Four poses a risk to Big Law.  But not because they want to “look like us.”

As a lookalike, they fall short. Size only matters if it can be translated into profit growth. While the study did not discuss the profit driven by the legal arms of the Big Four, the revenue generated by their practices pale in comparison to similar Big Law practices. Moreover, their presence is focused to certain practice segments – they miss, for example, the litigation market which is a significant component of many practices.  They are also limited by regulatory restraints in the large US market.

Looking like us is not the risk. Changing the way legal services delivery looks is the risk. In fact, ALM observes that the Big Four are evolving a second operational model premised on a managed services concept.  Examples abound: EY Law hired a managing director from Axiom to run an operation in Ireland. PwC just bought GE’s tax practice. Deloitte has made a number of plays in this arena.  In short, they seem to be expanding their operational model beyond “looking like us.”

The Big Law model is being challenged on many fronts. Start-ups –both pure tech plays and combination plays like Atrium – are nibbling at one edge. In house teams have been beefing up and taking away market share from Big Law. Other alternative service providers are continuing to grow market share.

Against this backdrop, the Big Four – with enormously deep resources – are reemerging in the field.  If they just try to “look like us”, they simply become yet another set of competitors.  In that model, they certainly have advantages but they have equally strong disadvantages.  It is a very different story if they deploy their capital to develop service offerings utilizing tech and people in a different way than currently offered by Big Law.   If they choose this path, they have the resources to dramatically change the complexion of legal service delivery.  Time will tell if this is the path they choose but the risk is here, not in the Big Four looking like Big Law.
accountants  competition  process 
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
A Successful Legal Change Management Story (027) | Legal Evolution
Data.  “It’s critical to measure your baseline and know your starting point so you can tell a data driven story so people can understand all the effort you’re putting in is driving results.”  Cf. Post 008 (data makes innovation more observable and thus more likely to be adopted by others).
Not reinventing the wheel.  “The problems we’re solving are not unique to Telstra legal department and may be faced by other law firms and departments in the company. Having an outward focus rather than an inward focus is critical.” Cf. Post 017 (noting openness to external ideas and influence as key determinant of organizational innovativeness)
Not waiting for perfect; avoiding options paralysis. “We have a tendency to overthink problems when we sometimes just need to get started. Jeff Bezos had a great point when he said that if you’re waiting for more than 70% of the information to make a decision you’re probably waiting too long, and getting something wrong is less expensive than being slow.”
Communication.  “All of this has a degree of behavioral change and behavioral change is really hard. We had to focus on the communication. The reduction in meetings was difficult and to get people to think differently on that – a lot of it was down to communication.”
innovation  process  client 
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
Value Drivers: Sylvia Chen, Google's Patent Counsel and Head of Patent Operations - Qualmet Legal
Our key metrics are based on the “management triangle” – quantity, cost and quality. Because the Google Patents Team mostly uses flat-fee billing, cost is not necessarily a cost per unit, but includes accuracy and timeliness of billing – which are additional objective metrics related to cost. Quality is measured using more subjective metrics, which we seek to define more tightly every year.

What tools do you use to collect and analyze the information?

We use our docketing tool, our billing tool and our in-house survey tool (Google Forms). There are no custom tools. Everything is off-the-shelf, but we do have data scientists (analysts) embedded in our team who have helped refine some of the metrics. For example: when should completion of a task be considered timely versus tardy? Our outside counsel were considering that an activity completed on the date when they made a submission. Based on thoughts about Google’s goals, we decided instead to measure  completion as the date when we received an accurate submission.

How much time and resources does your team spend on the evaluation process?

A lot. We have an entire program that addresses how to improve communications, relations, expectations and feedback with our firms, and our annual score card is an important piece of that program. It takes 2.5 person-months a year to support the process. Other than people’s time, there are no additional costs.
data  analytics  quality  clients  firms  process 
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
How O’Melveny Is Creating an Operational Roadmap for Its Litigators | Big Law Business
We began in earnest to try to solve that problem and our initial [idea] was that we had to be smarter about our staff. If you had people chopping the vegetables and creating the plate, you had to have the people in the right positions. We started going down that path and realized we had to deconstruct 400 litigation projects into tasks that chronologically represent the litigation process at our firm. And then we realized, ‘Wait a minute. Since we have gone this far, why don’t we associate with each task the smartest, quickest way to do it, given our library resources, technology, specialized people and all documents and precedents across all the work we’ve done. And that way, not only would we know for a particular task who would do it, but we could direct them to the best way of doing it.
process  systems  km  biglaw  firms  it 
august 2017 by JordanFurlong
Innovation in Organizations, Part II (016) | Legal Evolution
[Query: Why is linking AFAs to staffing and service delivery so innovative? Because the real value of alternative fees is to incentivize a re-design of workflow that (i) increases quality, (ii) speeds up delivery, and (iii) decreases cost. Otherwise, alternative fees become either a price discount or a gamble with poor or unknown odds. Stated another way, there is no point in hiring a pricing specialist unless you’re also going to hire specialists in project management and process improvement.]
innovation  pricing  process 
july 2017 by JordanFurlong
Prism Legal Law Firm Profitability + Service Delivery: What the Altman Weil Survey Says - Prism Legal
Clients use alternative fee arrangements to lower cost and gain cost predictability. But most law firms do no change how they staff and deliver work under AFAs. Without change, I suspect an AFA just move numbers around – or firms take margin hits.

By not investing in service delivery and changing how they work, firms miss their biggest profit lever. Under AFA, if firms change how they work to reduce cost,  clients get better value and law firms higher profits. Reasons for limited change include a general resistance to change, a misalignment between how firms compensate partners and how they measure profitability, or not having the right professional staff to help with new initiatives.
firms  process  robo  clients  value 
june 2017 by JordanFurlong
3 Geeks and a Law Blog: Why Now? The Rise of Alternative Legal Service Providers
Today, corporate law departments still use the transaction view for supply chain structure. They do not build competitive advantages, just temporary cost benefits. Law firms do not invest, because they have no incentives to do so. The transaction view drives low innovation, higher cost for the buyer, and higher revenue for the supplier.
Back To Managed Services

I'm going to do something ill-advised and disagree with Ken, slightly. Everything Ken wrote is gospel. If law departments treat ALSPs (or in-house teams) as lower cost substitutes for traditional law firms, they will encounter most of the same issues that engender their dissatisfaction with traditional law firms—and, likely, additional issues since the ALSPs are not designed to fill the law-firm role. My section above on failed attempts at managed services confirms that I've seen that movie more than once.

But I think there are material differences that favor ALSPs in the medium term. The obvious ones are that ALSP's value proposition, culture, and corporate structure make them more cost-effective, flexible, and willing partners than most (all?) traditional law firms. In this regard, I cannot recommend enough Bill Henderson's latest ABA Journal cover story on managed services.

I want to emphasize, however, the less obvious (but, possibly, more important) underlying shift in mindset in that law departments are more inclined (it isn't automatic) to take the relational view with ALSPs.
ops  process  workflow  clients  firms 
june 2017 by JordanFurlong
The Legal Profession’s ‘Last Mile Problem’ |
Step one is conceptualize the last mile problem as a problem of productivity rather than cost. Without that common understanding, buyers and sellers cannot have an intelligent dialogue on their long-term mutual interests.

Step two is to set aside ample time to engage in the intelligent dialogue. Resist the urge to bloviate at industry events and in the legal press about how the other side just doesn’t get it. Instead, do the difficult intellectual and emotional work of listening, empathizing and letting go of old ideas. Start with clients or service providers you like and trust and express a desire for a long-term relationship.

Step three is to openly share successes and failures with peers in the industry. We need these examples to more rapidly converge on new business models. This iterative approach is true thought leadership. It is also consistent with the values of professionalism.

There are other solutions to the legal profession’s last mile problem, but none will work as fast or as well as an honest dialogue between buyer and seller.
innovation  process  efficiency  clients 
june 2017 by JordanFurlong
How managed services are building systems for corporate legal work
it is possible that the largest and fast-growing portion of the legal market, efficiency demand, is going to be dominated by a relatively small number of managed services companies.

If the future plays out this way, it will happen through a massive reallocation of work from law firms and in-house legal departments to companies such as Axiom, Counsel on Call, Elevate, Integreon, Pangea3 and UnitedLex. This market segmentation, as Harris referred to it, will produce the type of deal flow and revenue that will enable investors of several of these companies to exit through an initial public offering.
managedlegal  clients  process  firms 
june 2017 by JordanFurlong
A fresh start to your practice and mine - Agile Attorney Network
n short, I was genuinely trying to be helpful; I was using my toolset and experience to try to save the firm money and improve performance. But that wasn’t what the old-guard powers within the firm perceived. At best they saw me as some upstart gadfly who, to their minds, was effectively saying that they’ve been “doing it wrong” all these years. At worst, they saw someone who was stirring up trouble and threatening their hard-won fiefdoms.

The final straw came a couple of months ago when I was asked to help answer a few questions we’d received as part of a Request for Information (RFI) from one of the firm’s existing major clients. The queries had to do with the firm’s adoption of tools and technology for legal project management and process improvement, and I initially responded that, although I’d been trying to build up our capabilities for over a year, the reality was that we didn’t have very good answers. I asked if I could have the entire RFI document to see if some context could help me frame better responses.
process  innovation  firms 
june 2017 by JordanFurlong
Lexpert ® | Machine Readable
While basic forms of contract automation have been present for a long time in Canadian corporate law — since at least the 1980s — the past two years or so have seen much more sophisticated systems emerge, such as Contract Express (produced by Lexpert publisher Thomson Reuters), Kira Systems, Korbitec’s ACL and RAVN, to name a few. They’re being increasingly adopted by Canadian corporate law firms.

At Gowling WLG, for one example, the firm has just begun experimenting with a bulk data extraction system that can comb through thousands of contracts in a portfolio and extract specific information or clauses to spot, say, a particular legal risk hidden amongst them. “We’ve used it on a million-dollar file,” says Tamminga. A client had presented the firm with thousands of contract documents, asking, “What do I do with these?”

Tamminga doesn’t mince words when it comes to the kind of tedium these systems will manage. “If I want to buy a mall and it has 250 leases in it, I want to know all about those leases. If they are machine-readable, should I do that automatically? Or do I have [an associate] read all 250 of those leases?”

So Gowlings told that big, anxious client, with its digital heap of contracts, “Well, we can’t have anybody read them, because they’ll die! Here: we’ll throw this software at it and we will see what comes of it. And we got useful stuff!”
contracts  robo  firms  innovation  process 
may 2017 by JordanFurlong
It’s the Service Model, Stupid –
If firms were really interested in service, then:
Lawyers would know how to price their work and make money, no matter the pricing mechanism. Most pricing done by even big firm lawyers is accomplished by tweaking standard rates and multiplying by actual or expected hours. Even working with something as simple as the billable hour, most lawyers have no idea where break-even points fall. Indeed, most really don’t understand the basics of how their firms make money.
But a firm committed to answering client requests for pricing flexibility and certainty would insure that all their lawyers had command over these most basic of business skills. People making day-to-day pricing decisions need to know how to price, and have the tools and support to do it well. It’s as simple as that.
Fixed pricing and other Alternative Fee Arrangements would be menu items for any client. When asked by clients to provide fixed fee alternatives to hourly billing, most firms protest that they cannot possibly project all of the variables that might affect the cost of doing a deal, or litigation, or other legal matter. But the lie is given to that by firms who already use fixed fee pricing for even complex matters — complex litigation, for example. Bartlit Beck is a leading litigation firm that uses only fixed fees and performance bonuses; no work is billed by the hour. And it does just fine.
service  standards  client  firms  pricing  process 
may 2017 by JordanFurlong
Three Law Firm Leaders Spill Their Legal Tech Value Secrets | Legaltech News
The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that in the next few decades, half of the work performed by humans today will be executed by “robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.” Recognizing that “machines match or outperform human performance in a range of work activities, including ones requiring cognitive capabilities,” the McKinsey report projects how increased automation will impact a variety of global industries.
it  robo  process 
may 2017 by JordanFurlong
Allen & Overy: An Old Firm With A New Strategy
Forward thinking firms like A&O—as well as some in-house legal departments and elite providers see the writing on the wall. They identify ‘legal’ issues as components of ‘business challenges’ that require legal, IT, and resource management expertise. That requires collaboration—internally as well as with clients– and an ability to integrate the different solution ingredients. Allen & Overy has assembled—and integrated—several different elements of this mosaic. The ‘Fuse’ initiative is merely the latest one.

A&O Has Created An ‘Advanced Delivery’ Capability That Differentiates It  

A&O’s ‘Fuse’ initiative is part of a broader strategy designed to: (1) differentiate the firm’s already well-burnished brand; (2) enhance its already formidable delivery capability by having a direct hand in cutting-edge technology focused on core practice areas that include deal-making, regulatory, and finance; (3) create products that will augment the firm’s services in those areas; (4) expand the technological expertise and reach of the firm beyond its internal IT department; (5) meld the firm’s elite legal expertise with technology and resource management, offering clients a wide range of services and products appropriate to the matter or task; and (7) find solutions—not simply legal ones—that advance client interest. This is an example of a law firm thinking creatively, strategically, and boldly to solve client problems. It is the merger of the practice of law with the delivery of legal services.
innovation  it  process  robo  strategy 
april 2017 by JordanFurlong
The lucrative days of document review are over | Precedent
When I speak with Ben Alarie, a law professor at the University of Toronto, he offers a bleak analogy. “Document and contract reviewers are like Uber drivers,” he says. “With Uber investing in self-driving cars, those drivers are looking at a short career. The same thing is probably true of lawyers who review documents. It will only get easier to automate large parts of their work, so it’s hard to see how those jobs are sustainable.”

Over at Blakes, Glover concedes that, going forward, there will be fewer partner-track associates at big firms. But she’s an optimist at heart. She thinks that as law firms become more efficient, they can generate more business. And she predicts that the ongoing upheaval in Big Law will spawn new types of legal jobs that no one can foresee. “Look, I’m a partner at a big downtown law firm and I’m doing something I never would have expected,” she says. “It’s true that the old business model doesn’t work. So we have to change. And change scares people. But it also creates opportunities. To me, that’s really exciting.”

This story is from our Spring 2017 issue.




Illustrations by Sébastien Thibault

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robolawyers  laterals  it  firms  process  innovation 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
A Career in LPO: A Non-Traditional Path for Legal Professionals
After almost a year reviewing technology procurement contracts, I transferred to the field of managed document review, where I worked with a great group of people on securities fraud and employment law related cases. During this time, I also learned about the ways in which legal technology was changing the face of litigation. My good fortunes continued during this same time with an opportunity to serve on a unique project aimed at helping Integreon comply with new HIPAA regulations, organize a contract repository, and develop a corporate wide procurement policy. I subsequently went on to support a Mergers and Acquisition due diligence project, and from that experience helped manage the implementation of a new global security account, subject to myriad regulatory rules and requirements, of national and international significance. In addition to leading a team of talented people and supporting some of the best and brightest legal, compliance, finance, contracts, and business development professionals around, I have also had the chance to become a subject matter expert in the field of corporate governance, risk management, and compliance, and to provide sales support to help Integreon grow a service line and solution in an evolving field and marketplace.
process  career  training 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
BREAKING OUT OF THE SILO | Stephanie Corey | Pulse | LinkedIn
“We need to think about how we, as an industry (the corporate legal services ‘CLS’ industry), create and support the right business models and behaviors, regulations, technology platforms, etc., to optimize all key elements. Law departments don’t operate and can’t optimize in a vacuum.” Law department operations professionals are tasked with complex responsibilities that include strategic planning, financial management, vendor management, data analytics, tech support and knowledge management. With that as the backdrop, Franke enumerates some of the most significant challenges for legal operations, including having a solid understanding of the different types of services provided by law firms and what those should cost. “The billable hour will never die if we—and the firms we use— don’t leverage LPM (law practice management) and other tools to come up with fixed fees for broad sets of services so that we get robust competition for legal work in the corporate legal services market,” says Franke.
ops  clients  it  process 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
The 2017 Georgetown Report And The Sunset Of The Traditional Law Firm Model
What’s missing in the current legal landscape is a safe, scalable, cost-effective, legal delivery model that integrates the legal supply chain. There are many different structures and models that would accomplish this objective– the most likely being a Clearspire ‘two company model’ where a law firm enters into a bundled services agreement with a legal service provider. Another iteration might involve a corporate legal department breaking off and rebranding itself as a law firm that is pared with legal operations capability, either in-house or via an established outside service provider. Additional elite legal talent would be readily available because there will soon be a diaspora of lawyers looking for a new model and a new home that aligns better with their interests as well as their clients’.
process  firms  innovation  supplychain 
february 2017 by JordanFurlong
Practice Engineering for 21st Century Legal Services Firms (Part 1)
So, what is our system, what does it do? Abstracting a bit, the legal services system delivers three things of value — in this order of increasing value and decreasing risk of displacement by alternative providers and software:

Not a surprise to any reader of this blog, in the delivery of the most bespoke legal services, the silkiest Savile Row suits, there is quite a lot of the quotidian. Suits need buttons. Contracts need signature pages. Pleadings need assertions of jurisdiction.
process  it  robolawyer  supplychain 
february 2017 by JordanFurlong
Legal Operations - What We Know Now | Ron Friedmann | Pulse | LinkedIn
Legal business operations, especially in corporate law departments, is on the rise. Lawyers in both law firms and law departments require an array of business and administrative support. That support makes a huge difference to legal cost, effectiveness, quality, and turnaround times. Yet operations receives less media coverage than, say, AI or law firm firm mergers.

I have long thought about legal operations and how best to support lawyers with both legal and business support. For example, that's why I wrote The Future of Legal Secretaries (Legal Times) 14 years ago and went to work for a legal outsourcing provider (LPO) 10 years ago.

I was pleased that 2016 saw three reports on legal and business support operations. I summarize some key points and offer a bit of commentary on three reports that I found interesting. I close with a short view of where I see the 2017 opportunities.
ops  clients  process  outsourcing 
january 2017 by JordanFurlong
Agile Project Management Guide for Legal Teams | LegalTrek
In this article we focus on Agile project management method, and you can read the following:

What is Agile, and how it started;
Starting Agile terminology, so you can research deeper on the topic;
What is the Kanban method, why experts recommend it, and how our clients use it;
How can you and your legal team start with and benefit from Agile methods.
Special thanks to Kenneth Grady, Paul Saunders, and Antony Smith for their contribution to this article.
november 2016 by JordanFurlong
'Manual Tools' Define In-House Counsel's Legal Project Management, Survey Finds | Legaltech News
An Exterro survey found that while in-house is implementing better-structured legal management processes, most lag in tech adoption.
clients  process  management 
november 2016 by JordanFurlong
Is the Legal Operating Model About to Crash | Corporate Counsel
There's a big practical difference between Legal supporting more decisions (old model) and Legal equipping the company to make better decisions overall (new model). Making that move requires three transformative changes to Legal's operating model.
1. Service Portfolio
Instead of expanding service menus in response to new and different business partner demands, focus on the comparative advantage that Legal provides versus other alternatives both within the beyond the company. Rationalize the services that Legal offers and determine what or who is the "best fit" provider.
One manufacturer starts this exercise by asking whether a process or decision requires a lawyer at all, and then asks a version of, "How would this work get done if we didn't have a legal department?" This goes a long way to separating the need for legal judgment from task execution. For the latter, depending on any cost and quality requirements, Legal will work with internal assurance functions (like Audit, Risk or Tax) or other business partners to determine whether and to what extent to reallocate the department's workload.
2. Delivery Model
Providing dedicated, tailored advice is practically impossible and, in most cases, not necessary. Enable business ownership of legal decisions and outcomes by codifying decision-making to routinize work and help business owners access critical legal knowledge independently.
This often requires building out self-service tools and other resources for business partners. Most legal departments see the up-front investment in time and energy to build these tools as an insurmountable barrier. To overcome this objection, the general counsel of a business services company reshaped the roles and expectations of in-house lawyers. Lawyers on the team are now expected and incentivized to spend 30 percent of their time either building self-service and other scalable solutions or working with the business to make sure they are being used.
3. Sourcing Model
Diversify outside support by finding alternative and low-cost providers of specific legal work flows. Unbundle services among a variety of external sources and use controlled pilots and experiments both to test provider capabilities and to learn about how best to work with and manage them.
Looking to gain a better understanding of the bevy of emerging legal technology solutions and alternative staffing models, one financial services company employs nonlawyers with engineering backgrounds to run pilot projects to test provider capabilities. Usually lasting two to three months, the pilots apply provider capabilities and features to real-world data and documents. These experiments are just as useful for vetting different-in-kind suppliers of legal support as they are for breaking through in-house lawyers' natural skepticism about using unfamiliar (and non-law firm) services.
client  innovation  outsourcing  process 
october 2016 by JordanFurlong
Canadian Bar Association - The omega to the alpha: The key to effective project management
“The best possible project management is identifying up front what it is that you’re going to be delivering, confirming that it meets the client’s need – which is not just their legal need but their surrounding need, there are often business needs or personal needs that are intersecting with the legal aspect – and then doing what you’re going to do to address that need and tracking, ensuring it is what you promised.”
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
How Google Runs Their Legal Team – Field Notes From The Future – Medium
Every company does things differently, which means that law firms also customize their solutions, contracts and advice in infinite different ways.
In addition to her role at Google, Mary is on the leadership team of a group called CLOC, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium. When members of the group started talking to each other, they realized that this level of customization was often unnecessary. They had the same goals, and only came up with different approaches because there was no standard playbook for getting things done.
Standardization, for CLOC and Google, is one of the ways they plan to challenge the highly bespoke, tailored nature of legal services today.
standardization  client  process  robolawyer 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
Legal Project Managers: The New Rainmakers? |
“Legal project management is literally becoming table stakes,” said Craig, whose team includes 16 employees.

Responding to that demand, Hogan Lovells on Tuesday announced it hired Leslie Brown from Ogletree Deakins to head the firm’s legal project management team for the Americas. That follows the firm’s hire last month of Stephen Allen, a former director of delivery and quality at DLA Piper, who will now head legal services delivery at Hogan Lovells.

The firm has been implementing legal project management with a pilot program of about 40 attorneys. It is looking to grow its project management staff by at least five employees, Brown said. The practice is part of Hogan Lovells’ strategic plan, and its goal is to become a leader in the area, she said.

“We want to deliver really high quality work in an efficient manner and price that work appropriately so it’s still profitable for the firm,” Brown said.
process  productivity 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
The "social enterprise" ABS that reduced clients' fee rates - Legal Futures
One of the first local authority alternative business structures (ABSs) is projected to increase its turnover 30% over the next year, and has already cut the fee rates for its shareholder clients by 20%, it revealed yesterday.

LGSS Law is now also providing legal advice and representation to more than 100 client organisations within the public and not-for-profit sectors, said Quentin Baker, its director of law, procurement and governance.

LGSS Law, which Mr Baker described as a “social enterprise law firm”, became an ABS in April 2015. It
clementi  process  access 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
Prism Legal The Coming Changes in How Lawyers Practice - Prism Legal
In this century we have seen dramatic changes in the legal market. From a period of plenty, we moved to one of seeming scarcity. Many commentators suggest that the legal market has been, is being, or will be disrupted. I have a different point of view: if the 2007-10 economic crisis did not “disrupt” the legal market, I am not sure what would.
firms  innovation  disruption  process  pricing  profitability 
august 2016 by JordanFurlong
Unlikely Legal Tech Allies Come Together to Standardize Legal Operations | Legaltech News
With that as the backdrop, Franke enumerates some of the most significant challenges for legal operations, including having a solid understanding of the different types of services provided by law firms and what those should cost.
"The billable hour will never die if we—and the firms we use—don't leverage LPM (law practice management) and other tools to come up with fixed fees for broad sets of services so that we get robust competition for legal work in the corporate legal services market," says Franke.
Another challenge is getting in-house lawyers to expand the set of firms they use beyond the usual suspects, he adds.
"Right now, there's a mismatch between supply and demand that's allowing for abnormal price increases and overall cost. LSOs (legal services outsourcing), technology companies, and other corporate legal ecosystem players are helping drive work to the right level of quality, and the right price, but there's a long way to go," Franke explains.
ops  it  process  clients 
june 2016 by JordanFurlong
G+T wants to use computers to cut lawyers' work |
Gilbert + Tobin is committing the legal-industry equivalent of heresy: using computers to reduce billable hours. In an Australian first for a major law firm, G+T has filed several patent applications to cover new computer applications it has built. The technology automates manual and time-consuming  database searches and streamlined aspects of corporate transactions.

"Rather than take 20 hours, some tasks can now be done in two hours," said intellectual property partner John Lee, who was involved in developing the computer programs.
firms  innovation  robolawyer  it  process 
june 2016 by JordanFurlong
'A transformed business': Mishcon de Reya unveils ten-year strategy |
Major investment in technology is also on the agenda in order to 'liberate fee earners.' Chief strategy officer Nick West, who joined from alternative supplier Axiom earlier this year, is tasked to 'drive the automation of everything that can be automated whether it's legal or process.' During that same period West will establish an internal laboratory to vet artificial intelligence initiatives in a bid to make the firm an 'early adopter for new technologies.'

Following on from the roll-out of its private client and e-discovery ventures in recent years, ultimately Gold says the firm envisions itself over the next decade growing as a broad-based consultancy business.

However the firm's New York office – a separate business which generated around $13m annually – is being scaled back to a patent only practice, and the firm is in the process of moving a four-partner team to smaller offices from Park Avenue to Soho.

As for firmwide remuneration, Gold said the option to move to a John Lewis-style partnership model that would see all staff own a stake in the business continues to be mooted. He does, however, point towards his 'personal dislike of bonuses as opposed to ownership return.'

'Bonuses take a huge amount of time. They're unsatisfactory whereas if people have a vested interest and treat the firm like they treat their home we think we'll get better returns from people and for them as members of staff.'

For Gold the concept of origination has increasingly become a 'meaningless metric by itself' and the various metrics to measure reward currently include contribution to knowledge training, mentoring, monitoring, and work generation.

'As the firm and quality of clients have grown, very few people can claim to own a client individually. Once you bring in other metrics like generosity – how you take that introduction to a client and pass it on to someone else. That is built on the premise that the firm is different to others – it's more important than the individual.'
innovation  firm  process  it  culture  compensation 
june 2016 by JordanFurlong
Offshoring goes in-house: Shell to launch external legal centre to service global operations |
n the latest twist to the offshoring saga, and following news last week that two global 100 firms are to outsource to Poland and Manila, Royal Dutch Shell is preparing to open its own offshore legal centre to service the oil giant's global operations.

A projects team, reporting to the company's legal director Donny Ching (pictured), is currently scouting possible locations and considering headcount numbers for the centre, with a brief to come back by autumn.
clients  offshoring  outsourcing  process 
june 2016 by JordanFurlong
In Canada, Axess offers legal services in Wal-Marts
“As a profession, we’re not covering our mandate to provide competent service to all Ontarians,” he says. “Sixty percent of people don’t have a will because the process is too expensive. Wouldn’t it be better to have a competent lawyer doing wills according to best practices and the way the law society dictates?”

The firm operates using cloud computing technology so that lawyers at different locations can access client files easily. The firm focuses on high-volume transactions, inclu-ding wills and real estate.

“We’re at a point where in the average family case, most people are self-represented,” says Morris. “In the Canadian context, we’ve done 25,000 wills alone and we haven’t had a complaint. Our wills have been tested and probated.”
wills  access  innovation  competition  process 
may 2016 by JordanFurlong
A Call for Legal Ops to Ditch the Silos and Share | Corporate Counsel
But Legal Operations is still a fairly nascent profession and role. I’ve been at this for Google for many years now. I’ve grown my team tremendously, established a robust outside counsel and financial management practice, launched countless tools and systems, and rehauled internal processes. I’m proud to say that we’ve been named the Most Innovative Legal Department many times over by ILTA, the Financial Times, InsideCounsel magazine and more. I’m ready to turn the lens externally and see how we can influence the future of the industry, and not just our department.
ops  process  clients 
may 2016 by JordanFurlong
The Newest Faces in Many Corporate Legal Departments Aren’t Practicing Lawyers | Big Law Business
After one of Yahoo’s outside law firms sent a bill last year that included a noticeable, unannounced rate increase, Jeffrey Franke — the chief of staff to the general counsel and senior director of legal operations — felt compelled to drive up the coast to San Francisco for a face-to-face visit with the lead lawyer.
ops  clients  process  innovation 
may 2016 by JordanFurlong
The New and Evolving Legal Department Operations Role | Business of Law Blog
As demands in the legal industry have changed, such as those surrounding eDiscovery and financial controls, the influence and requirements from LDO leaders has also evolved. In addition to the responsibilities described above, legal operations now also encompasses more strategic areas, including:
Defining objectives, levers, KPIs, and measuring for success
Opportunity spotting and ROI measurements
Information Governance and Compliance management
Facilitating globalization efforts
Additionally, as more attorneys move into LDO positions, responsibilities that fall into the gray area between business management and practicing law are being pushed into legal operations. Examples of these functions include:
Managing the eDiscovery function
Managing Records Management
Facilitating IP maintenance
ops  process  clients 
april 2016 by JordanFurlong
The Rise of In-House Legal Operations | Big Law Business
A decade or so ago, almost nobody would have looked at legal operations (or law department management) as a hot career path. In fact, a lot of people in the law business would likely have struggled to come up with a good description of what legal operations managers actually do.
ops  clients  process  innovation 
april 2016 by JordanFurlong
As Legal Departments Do More Work, Tech Adoption Becomes Critical | Legaltech News
Corporate legal adoption of ELM may increase from 20 percent to 50 percent by 2020.
process  clients 
march 2016 by JordanFurlong
Blakes inSource provides an alternative service delivery model to help clients meet their legal needs in an innovative and efficient way. Staffed with highly skilled lawyers, inSource provides a cost-effective and flexible model for delivering valuable legal services. With a primary focus on document review work, our services can be expanded to meet additional client requirements such as due diligence, commercial contract review and legislative updates.
firms  innovation  process  outsourcing 
march 2016 by JordanFurlong
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