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Model Law Firm Data Security Controls

The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and a group of its members have developed this Model Information Protection and Security Controls for Outside Counsel Possessing Company Confidential Information (“Model Controls”) to help in-house counsel as they set expectations with their outside vendors, including outside counsel, regarding the types of data security controls these vendors should employ to protect their company's confidential information. The Model Controls provide a list of baseline security measures and controls some legal departments may consider requiring from outside vendors. It is ACC’s hope that the Model Controls offer legal departments a streamlined and consistent approach to setting expectations with respect to the data security practices of their outside vendors.

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Enterprise Legal Management

Microsoft’s Legal Department is Piloting AI Right Now

Posted: 2017-Jun-27

Microsoft Corp. is testing whether artificial intelligence can aid in-house legal work, said Tami Baddeley, legal operations lead for the software provider. Baddeley spoke to Bloomberg BNA June 5 on the sidelines of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Legal Operations Conference in Chicago.   Full Story

Lexis Answers: Artificial Intelligence Without the Hyperbole; No Robot Lawyers In Sight--A Fastrack to Legal Answers

Posted: 2017-Jun-27

I spent almost an hour last Friday talking to Jeff Pfeifer, Vice President of Product Management at Lexis Nexis about the upcoming release of a new artificial intelligence enabled Lexis Advance feature called Lexis Answers. Instead of the “robot lawyer” hyperbole that has characterized many recent AI product announcements, Pfeiffer, while enthusiastic for Lexis Answers, is refreshingly restrained in discussing the product.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Fast versus Slow Innovations

Posted: 2017-Jun-27

Are rapidly adopted innovations more valuable and important than innovations that take a long time to take hold? Not necessarily. This blog post is part of Legal Evolution’s foundational series on diffusion theory. Here’s the key point: speed of adoption is not a reliable guide for an innovation’s importance. In fact, competitive advantage is much more likely to lie among slower ideas where innovators focus on several key factors to accelerate the rate of adoption. [This post, from Bill Henderson of Indiana University moves from theory to practice, citing examples including project management and process improvement, including integration of AI into workflows; AFAs that reward efficiency and innovation; enterprise-level workflow management; talent management based on behavioral science; and construction of client-facing self-help solutions]    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Is It Time to Automate?

Posted: 2017-Jun-27

Kevin Caulfield, a product line director at Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions, understands that general counsel don’t want their departments to be viewed solely as cost centers. Many of them strive to show how they can be good business partners with other parts of their organization by focusing on initiatives that will help reduce costs and generate revenue. To Caulfield, one of the ways this can be achieved is through enterprise legal management technology. Although many long-established corporate legal departments have already made good use of this technology, he says, there are many growing companies that still may not realize the benefits of an enterprise legal management solution. [Q&A in MCC]   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

E-Discovery Research Reveals a Focus on Cloud Adoption, In-Sourcing and Client Service

Posted: 2017-Jun-27

Ari Kaplan on his research of in-house and Am Law 200 e-discovery counsel, exploring current challenges and where companies are making investments.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Departments Keep Huge Percentage of Work In-House. Here's Why.

Posted: 2017-Jun-27

Nearly 75 percent of work for legal departments is handled internally, according to a recently released report. Keeping more work in-house has been the reality for in-house counsel for some time, and current and former in-house lawyers say it's a trend that's likely here to stay. The results from the 19-page "General Counsel Up-at-Night" report are based on responses to an online survey conducted in spring 2017 from more than 200 U.S.-based general counsel and other in-house legal decision makers.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Amazon's GC on 'No-Lose' Talent Program in Legal Department

Posted: 2017-Jun-26

There's a lot of untapped talent that Amazon.com Inc.'s legal department can now access because of a program that helps women attorneys re-enter the workforce after taking time off, according to David Zapolsky, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at Seattle-based Amazon. This program, which can be very valuable for legal departments, is a "no-lose proposition," he said.   Full Story

Your Trusted Legal Adviser May Not Be A Lawyer

Posted: 2017-Jun-26

The most accomplished lawyers are those that become ‘trusted advisers’ to clients. That means their counsel is sought not only for discrete cases but also on an enterprise basis—and not just for ‘legal’ matters. The trusted adviser has a profound understanding of the client’s business and provides professional judgment, emotional intelligence, candor, and experience tailored to the client’s risk tolerance, enterprise objectives, and company DNA. That’s a far cry from simply ‘knowing the law’ or ‘handling a case.   Full Story

Future Law: Reflecting on Access to Justice

Posted: 2017-Jun-23

After attending CodeX Future Law at Stanford in early April, my takeaway was that we are only solving a small piece of the huge access to justice problem. Please do not misunderstand, the topics and speakers were excellent. However, other than Professor Gillian Hadfield’s keynote, we appear fixated on the big law issues, including large corporate challenges with few exceptions on the chatbot panel. Implementing change at only an elite level will not solve the problem for the hundreds of millions of Americans and billions worldwide who cannot access justice. Instead, we need to question and redesign every process, service, including who is providing what service, and go outside the law for solutions to everyday legal problems.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Impressions from ACC Legal Ops

Posted: 2017-Jun-22

Having just returned from the 3rd annual ACC Legal Ops meeting in Chicago, I was struck not only by how this event continues to grow and evolve, but the focus of the event on how legal operational professionals can leverage their roles to align strategy and planning to both the evolving role of the General Counsel and the expanded opportunities of their respective organizations.   Full Story

HP General Counsel Offers Advice on Ensuring Gender Pay Equity

Posted: 2017-Jun-22

Studies continue to show a gender pay disparity in the legal profession. But there are ways to help close the gap, Kim Rivera, chief legal officer and general counsel at HP Inc., said at a recent event at the United Nations headquarters in New York City focused on celebrating — and honoring — women who have broken through barriers to become leaders in the practice of law.   Full Story

Spend Management

Law Firms Aren't Adapting Fast Enough To Lack Of Demand

Posted: 2017-Jun-22

Legal consulting firm Altman Weil Inc. released on Thursday its annual survey of top law firms that found firms aren’t adapting quickly enough to the industry’s oversupply of lawyers and a decreasing demand for services. More than half of the 386 firms surveyed report their equity and nonequity partners are not sufficiently busy and approximately 43 percent of their firm’s lawyers, who aren’t partners or associates, don’t have enough work, the report says. “Decreasing demand for legal services is endemic in the profession,” the report says. [Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

5 Lessons for Work Amazon Can Teach Us (And you don’t have long to learn the them)

Posted: 2017-Jun-22

What we can learn from Amazon comes from a different place. It comes from Amazon’s approach to to the market, or more precisely owning the market. The lessons can be applied by individuals and scaled up to global firms. That may seem like a stretch. But, the lessons require changing your attitude about how to meet the needs of those who buy from you.    Full Story

Spend Management

VIDEO: Lessons Learned From 3M Culling Law Firms

Posted: 2017-Jun-20

General counsel support is crucial for corporate legal departments that are trying to decrease the number of law firms they work with, 3M Co.’s managing counsel said. The most important step is making sure the in-house team is “aligned, starting with the general counsel,” said Joseph Otterstetter, who leads his company’s ongoing convergence efforts. “There will be resistance, I promise, and so if the general counsel isn’t supportive, it’s best not to even start, frankly.” 3M is now in the third stage of its overall convergence work, Otterstetter told Bloomberg BNA June 6 on the sidelines of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Legal Operations Conference in Chicago.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The New Delivery Paradigm and Tools of the Legal Trade

Posted: 2017-Jun-19

Legal practice and legal delivery were once synonymous. That's changed. The practice of law has morphed into the business of delivering legal services--like medical practice and healthcare delivery. That means that law is not just about lawyers anymore. It also means there are new delivery tools.   Full Story

The Boring Law Firm; The model is dead, may it rest in peace

Posted: 2017-Jun-19

We have been circling this issue for years, but we won’t let go and head to where the facts take us: the large law firm model passed its “use by” date long ago. There are large law firms that do well, a few very well. But, we confuse the individual firm with the genre. The exception of this firm or that firm does not prove a rule that the large law firm model remains viable. Corporations supporting the model do not help anyone, especially themselves.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Tips For Complying With ABA’s New Encryption Guidance

Posted: 2017-Jun-19

On May 11, 2017, the American Bar Association’s ethics committee published revised guidance regarding an attorney’s duty to protect sensitive client material in light of the high volume of recent high-profile hacks. As early as 2013, the ABA Cybersecurity Handbook emphasized that hacks and data loss are not a matter of “if,” but “when,” and the ABA recently re-examined this fact in light of an attorney’s core duties. According to the revised guidance, encryption is often necessary to protect sensitive client emails and files, and often requires a client’s informed consent should an attorney forgo such protection. [Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Spend Management

World Class Innovation and Efficiency, Billed by the Hour

Posted: 2017-Jun-19

Below are two beliefs I [Bill Henderson] carried with me for many years. 1) In all human endeavors, incentives exert a powerful effect on behavior; 2) Within the legal industry, the billable hour is the primary impediment to innovation and efficiency. Belief 1 still stands. But belief 2, which I viewed as a corollary of 1, recently fell like an oak tree. This shift in worldview happened during my research for Efficiency Engines, a story on rise of legal managed services. During visits to several managed service facilities, I witnessed quantum leaps in legal productivity for relatively sophisticated legal work. And in each case, the work was priced and sold by the hour.   Full Story

The Lawyers of Tomorrow: 5 Trends Changing the Industry

Posted: 2017-Jun-16

Undoubtedly, the practice of law is changing rapidly. Lawyers are going in-house faster, in-house legal departments are impacting the business more than ever, and lawyers are constantly adapting to shifts in the way companies conduct business. In addition to the overall changes in the corporate climate, the practice of law is changing as well. On the technology side, automation and legal operations are disrupting the way in-house legal departments operate. On the business side, general counsel are poised to become leaders of both the C-suite and corporate boards. With this in mind, here are the five trends we believe are going to disrupt the practice of law, and what we can do to embrace them.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

New ACC Survey Finds 'Dramatic' Gender Pay Gap for In-House Counsel

Posted: 2017-Jun-16

A new report from the Association of Corporate Counsel draws “a dramatic picture of gender pay disparity” for women in-house lawyers, while it shows their male colleagues may be sitting in denial. The “Global Perspectives: ACC In-House Trends Report,” released Tuesday, indicates that a higher percentage of women than men occupy lower-level categories when it comes to in-house salaries.   Full Story

Winning in Managing Outside Counsel

Posted: 2017-Jun-16

Some might think it presumptuous for an attorney in private practice, not in-house, to opine on how inside counsel can better manage outside counsel. But I was an in-house lawyer—sort of. I was in the White House Counsel’s Office. Granted, the analogy is a bit oblique. The job was not in the private sector. And we had only one law firm, the Department of Justice, with a very favorable fee arrangement (as in free). Still, I did have to learn how to manage the relationship. More on point, though, is my experience in the private sector as a member or leader of many teams that in-house lawyers have managed. For more than 30 years, I have observed from this vantage point what works and what does not. In my view, much of the folk wisdom on managing outside counsel is at best partially true, and important canons outside this anthology are ignored or used to less benefit than they could be.    Full Story

3 New Technology Positions Finding a Foothold in Modern Legal

Posted: 2017-Jun-16

A legal week panel discusses growing technology careers paths in legal outside of the e-discovery and cybersecurity bastions.   Full Story

Adopt or Perish? Attorneys and Vendors Battle Over AI Adoption

Posted: 2017-Jun-16

A fiery discussion between technologists and lawyers reflects a need for further education.   Full Story

Many GCs Looking To Switch Firms Despite Goodwill

Posted: 2017-Jun-15

Attorneys in corporate legal departments report a high degree of satisfaction when it comes to their working relationships with outside counsel, and yet nearly half of GCs plan to change out a firm next year, according to a Tuesday report. Fifty-eight percent of in-house lawyers rated their working relationships with outside counsel as "mostly positive," and another 23 percent rated them "more positive than negative," according to the Association of Corporate Counsel In-house Trends Report, released Tuesday. And yet, one in three GCs terminated a firm last year, and 46 percent say they are considering or definitely will change out a firm next year, the report said. [Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Are Law Firms Becoming Obsolete?

Posted: 2017-Jun-15

‘Innovation’ and ‘disruption’ are the legal industry’s favorite terms these days. Articles and conferences on ‘legal innovation’ and ‘disruption’--whether, when, how, and by whom—are legion. Pinpointing when disruption will occur is as unpredictable as an Amtrak train’s arrival. As Yogi said, ‘it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.’ Another way to chart the industry’s future is to consider whether the traditional partnership model law firms are becoming obsolete and, if so, what will replace them? That does not require a crystal ball or a Ouija board; a growing body of evidence points to advancing obsolescence of the incumbent partnership model. The structural and operational characteristics of its replacement are now identifiable--even if its dominant players have yet to be determined.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Why Enterprises Should Extend eComms Compliance and eDiscovery Defences

Posted: 2017-Jun-15

Many enterprise electronic communications (eComms) applications offer an attractive proposition to businesses by delivering lower costs, more features and access to newer desktop apps. But while they might be extremely effective business tools, often they don’t provide the functionality required to meet the compliance and eDiscovery needs for organisations today.   Full Story

Ain’t No Stopping AI Now

Posted: 2017-Jun-14

Artificial intelligence (AI) is unquestionably the legal technology buzzword of the year, but the technology that makes up an AI tool is still relatively confusing for most legal practitioners. AI can mean anything from automated workflows all the way to predictive insight, depending on who you ask. E-discovery company DISCO has just launched its own AI tool, DISCO AI, offering an opportune moment to review some of the jargon that will likely follow attorneys into the AI-enabled world.   Full Story

LexisNexis Legal & Professional Acquires Research Company Ravel Law

Posted: 2017-Jun-14

Ravel Law is known for its open-source database partnership with Harvard Law Library, as well as its judicial analytics and data visualization technology.   Full Story

Spend Management

How 3M And Sears Are Slashing Their Law Firm Rosters

Posted: 2017-Jun-13

Across the corporate world, legal departments have been striving to shrink their panel of go-to outside law firms and reduce their legal spend. Deborah Ratterman, director of legal operations at Sears Holding Management Corp., and Joe Otterstetter, associate general counsel at 3M Co., explained the steps they’ve taken to downsize their law firm rosters at the Association for Corporate Counsel’s legal operations conference in Chicago on Tuesday. The legal operations professionals discussed their processes for converging their law firms — in other words, reducing the overall number of firms they use — in a session titled “Best Practices in Converging and Bulding a High-Value Outside Counsel Network.” [Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Contract Management

Think AI Contract Review is Easy? It All Depends on the Training

Posted: 2017-Jun-12

Of the many challenges facing in-house attorneys in M&A or a company restructuring, reviewing and organizing company contracts is perhaps the most labor-intensive task. With advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), however, many legal teams been able to reduce the amount of time and effort such review can entail. But AI is far from a silver bullet.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

3 Ways to Sell Your Legal Tech Project to Corporate Management

Posted: 2017-Jun-12

Securing support for a technology project from company directors and the C-suite is often the most important requirement for the project’s success. Legal technology implementation, after all, can be a long-term and expensive investment that tests the patience and resolve of many in-house managers. Yet making the business case for technology does not come easy for those in legal who have, until recently, not had to fight for funding.   Full Story

Law firms test 'Mansfield rule' to promote more women and minorities into leadership roles

Posted: 2017-Jun-12

Law firms test 'Mansfield rule' to promote more women and minorities into leadership roles. Law firms that successfully test the rule will be “Mansfield certified” and be able to send their recently promoted diverse lawyers to meet with general counsel from 45 legal departments at a client forum.   Full Story

'Mansfield Rule' Eyes a Big Law Diversity Breakthrough

Posted: 2017-Jun-07

After Arabella Mansfield took and passed the Iowa bar exam in 1869, she challenged the state law excluding her from practicing law, in the process becoming the first female lawyer in the U.S. Nearly 150 years later, Mansfield is lending her name to a new rule aimed at closing the gaps between women and minorities in leadership roles in Big Law. Derived from the National Football League’s so-called Rooney Rule, which requires that NFL teams interview at least one minority candidate for head coach or general manager positions, the Mansfield Rule states that at least 30 percent of a law firms’ candidate pools for any leadership or governance position—including equity partnership promotions and lateral positions—must be comprised of women or minorities. Earlier this month, 30 large law firms signed on to pilot this new approach within the next year.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

New report finds corporate legal departments are awash in work and concerned about costs

Posted: 2017-Jun-07

Corporate legal departments are busier than ever, which has led to an increase in work for in-house attorneys and outside counsel, according to a new study released Tuesday from the Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker LDO Index. The semi-annual study, which is compiled from anonymous data from over 1,000 legal departments as well as written responses from 161 participating companies, found that 52 percent of legal departments had experienced an uptick in work during the last six months.   Full Story

Spend Management

Three Corporate Legal Ops Paths, One Goal: Tackling E-Discovery Spend

Posted: 2017-Jun-07

At the ACC Legal Operations conference, legal operation managers at Bank of America, Groupon, and Abbott explained how they reigned in their e-discovery budgets.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Metrics in Motion: Two Ops Managers Share Stories of Analytics Implementations

Posted: 2017-Jun-07

Legal ops managers at PG&E and AbbVie discuss the complexities and drivers behind their legal department’s recent metrics implementation. In some corners of the corporate world, legal departments are using metrics to track staff’s work and even predict what future litigation and spend challenges they will likely face. But while some are looking to what the next generation of metrics will entail, many legal departments are still in the initial phases, wondering how and when to harness their unstructured data into actionable insights.   Full Story

Spend Management

3 Tips For Finding The Right Fee Arrangement

Posted: 2017-Jun-07

Finding a value-based fee arrangement that works for both law firm and client can be tricky, but the process can be simplified by balancing the complexity of the work with client expectations, according to a Monday presentation at the ACC Legal Operations conference in Chicago. The complexity of the work, the importance of the work to the client and the length and nature of the relationship between outside counsel and the client are all factors that go into deciding what type of value-based fee will work best for a given matter, according to William Garcia, one of three speakers at the presentation, “How to Use Value-Based Fees,” at the Association for Corporate Counsel’s annual Legal Operations conference Monday. [Law360]   Full Story

Spend Management

Improve RFPs with Data Analytics

Posted: 2017-Jun-07

Many law departments use a request for proposal (RFP) to choose outside counsel to represent them in a major matter, for a portfolio of matters likely to start over a period of time or on a panel. Typical RFPs describe the bidding protocol, expectations of the department and background facts for the firms. These facts generally include work that will likely need to be done, the annual number of similar matters in the past, the distribution of law firms used, fees paid, outcomes achieved, etc. RFPs are a comfortable, familiar tool, often involving the procurement function, but they are quite often heavy on text. They would be improved if law departments incorporated more data in them and prepared better analyses or visualizations of that data.   Full Story

Spend Management

Legal Departments See More Operations Staff, Emphasis on Predictive Reporting

Posted: 2017-Jun-07

A Thomson Reuters report finds that legal operations teams are now a hallmark of over half of corporate legal departments.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal at the Speed of Business

Posted: 2017-Jun-07

To get a full picture of the scope and causes of functional speed, we conducted one of the largest-ever assessments, analyzing survey responses from about 10,000 employees across 10 functions. In particular, we surveyed over 1,700 legal department professionals about 37 tasks that are central to their jobs—advising M&A and transactions, drafting and reviewing contracts, reviewing marketing and communications, providing business support, etc. The results weren't good. Legal has a speed problem, and the business impact is significant.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Failing is Learning: 3 Legal Ops Considerations for Creating Consistent Success

Posted: 2017-Jun-06

The ACC Legal Operations conference kicked off with a look how best to deploy and maintain a successful legal operations team.   Full Story

Spend Management

The rise of market pricing

Posted: 2017-Jun-01

In this follow-up post, I want to expand on yesterday’s closing comments about how I think the future likely belongs to “market pricing” — that is, a system based almost entirely on how much the buyer is willing to pay the provider.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Inside Liberty Mutual's Legal Tech Transformation

Posted: 2017-Jun-01

How one century-old legal department is leveraging data, deploying tools and changing corporate culture to prepare for the future of law.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Cybersecurity: Are You the Gazelle at the Back of the Herd?

Posted: 2017-Jun-01

An effective Governance, Risk and Compliance program delivers sustainability, consistency, efficiency and transparency against cyber threats.   Full Story

Where Do We Go From Here; Big Law's Struggle with Recruiting & Retaining Female Talent

Posted: 2017-Jun-01

At this rate, women equity partners will reach 30 percent by 2081. Without extraordinary new efforts, parity remains a distant possibility.    Full Story

e Discovery Industry Consolidation - Impacts to the Customer

Posted: 2017-Jun-01

The majority of business people understand that most new industries consolidate as they mature. I will attempt to provide some historical context and explain who wins and who loses when an industry consolidates. My ultimate focus will be placed on the consolidations occurring in the e Discovery industry and how customers are being impacted.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Is There Such Thing as Preventative Law? (Perspective)

Posted: 2017-Jun-01

Most corporate law departments play the steady Eddy role, priding themselves on managing each day’s crisis quickly, calmly and effectively. Few look beyond the crisis of the day to anticipate and avoid issues before they arise. This failure arises not from any principled objection to what the academics call “preventative law” — a proactive approach that resolves legal issues long before they become legal problems — but rather from the practical difficulties in seeing around corners and getting the solution right before the problem presents itself.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Ranks of Women GCs are Growing

Posted: 2017-Jun-01

More and more women are being hired for the top lawyer jobs in Fortune 500 companies, and more of them are being hired via external searches instead of promoted from within, a new study has found.   Full Story

Spend Management

The problem with value pricing

Posted: 2017-May-31

A day in the life of the corporate legal market: A law firm submits a bill to a client. The client doesn’t like the bill because the amount is higher than expected or seems incommensurate with the value of the service. The client contacts the firm and asks for the amount to be reduced. What does the firm do? Eight times out of ten, it reduces the amount, at least according to all the accounts I’ve heard and read. The client pushes back, and the firm gives way.   Full Story

Overview: Meet the GCs Who May Finally Move the Needle on Diversity

Posted: 2017-May-30

Even as some general counsel of major U.S. corporations take a harder line with Big Law on diversity, the results of ALM's Diversity Scorecard show that the proportion of minorities in large law firms continues to stagnate. Minority lawyers working in Am Law 200 firms and NLJ 250 firms stood at just 15.6 percent in 2016, up from 15.0 percent in 2015. The percentage of minority partners among the firms also saw only incremental growth, up only 0.4 percentage points to reach 8.6 percent last year.   Full Story

Don't Forget Small Data: Inside GE Select Connect

Posted: 2017-May-30

Most modern law departments have a preferred provider network encompassing "preapproved" firms. At most law departments, however, that's as far as it goes: Lawyers do not have a deeper understanding of which firms to choose within the network. Oftentimes, in-house counsel have a hard time finding even basic information about the firms in the network, such as agreed-upon rates and volume discounts—and they still usually find out how well a firm performs by sending a mass email request to the other lawyers.   Full Story

Spend Management

Can ‘Value’ Pricing Replace the Billable Hour? (Perspective)

Posted: 2017-May-30

In law firm land, value pricing has achieved buzzword status, meaning that everyone uses the phrase with abandon and supreme confidence. (Actual adoption, of course, is another story.) But suspend disbelief for a moment: How might a legal market run on value pricing actually work?   Full Story

Ravel Law unveils new tool that measures law firm success

Posted: 2017-May-26

A courtroom batting average for law firms is one feature of a new analytical toolkit from the Ravel Law research firm. On Wednesday, Ravel unveiled its Firm Analytics suite, which purports to rank law firms by case volume and winning percentages across practice areas. Cases are categorized in a state and federal ruling database that Ravel created in partnership with Harvard Law School. Daniel Lewis, Ravel’s chief executive, says the search tools build on the company’s success in quantitative analyses of rulings, judges and jurisdictions.   Full Story

iManage Acquires RAVN Systems in Move to Integrate AI for Users

Posted: 2017-May-26

While e-discovery companies continue to dominate merger & acquisition news in legal technology, much of the industry still looks to artificial intelligence (AI) as the harbinger of change. Among the companies looking to beef up its AI offerings is document management provider iManage. On May 24, the company announced its acquisition of RAVN Systems, a relative newcomer to legal technology but a heavyweight among AI technology providers in the legal industry.   Full Story

Spend Management

US Corporate Legal Spending Far Outpaces Rest Of World

Posted: 2017-May-26

Companies in the U.S. spend nearly triple the amount on legal services for every dollar of revenue than counterparts around the globe, but overall spending varies greatly depending on the size and industry of the business, according to a new analysis released Tuesday. [Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Millennials rewriting law firm DNA as they move into pole positions

Posted: 2017-May-25

Millennials are now in the driving seat of legal practice and accelerating the pace of change in the legal marketplace. A new report from LOD has charted the legal shift as the millennial lawyer begins to outnumber the babyboomer generation. Legal market analyst Jordan Furlong, who authored 'The rise of the Millennial Lawyer', looked at the impact on law firms and corporate legal departments.    Full Story

Managing Partners Frustrated by Slow Pace of Big Law Change, Survey Says

Posted: 2017-May-24

Nobody is accusing Big Law firms of moving too fast in response to slack demand for their services and client demands for change. But a new survey released Tuesday shows that one important group is increasingly frustrated by the industry’s sluggish pace of change: Law firm leaders.   Full Story

Law firms report chronic under-performing partners

Posted: 2017-May-23

With 88 per cent of firms saying they have chronically under-performing lawyers, the research also reveals that equity partners are not sufficiently busy in 52 per cent of firms, and non-equity partners aren’t busy enough in 61 per cent of firms. Overcapacity is diluting profitability in 61 per cent of law firms. Altman Weil’s 2017 Law Firms in Transition Survey reveals a legal market characterised by an endemic erosion of demand for law firm services, increasing price competition, a need for greater efficiency in service delivery, an influx of new kinds of competitors and the inexorable force of technology innovation.    Full Story

Spend Management

How Can In-House Teams Get More Value? Partner With Firms

Posted: 2017-May-23

The Association of Corporate Counsel highlighted the “deep and innovative partnerships” forged by Littler Mendelson LLP, Reed Smith LLP and others Wednesday as the organization recognized several firms and companies for initiatives designed to increase value and efficiency in corporate legal departments.   Full Story

Spend Management

IBM Says New Watson Tool Could Dramatically Reduce Outside Counsel Spend

Posted: 2017-May-22

A new tool using International Business Machines Corp.'s Watson, notorious for defeating its human competitors on "Jeopardy" in 2011, is hard at work for in-house legal departments with the goal of significantly reducing outside counsel spend. So far, use of "Outside Counsel Insights," or OCI, has been limited to legal departments in the financial services industry, according to Brian Kuhn, co-founder and leader of IBM Watson Legal. But with the potential to save as much as 30 percent on annual outside counsel spend, it's no surprise that the tool has piqued the interest of some of the largest companies in that field.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Tackling the Automation Barrier: Inside Kim Technologies' New Legal Ops Platform

Posted: 2017-May-22

Geared toward legal operations, the platform allows legal departments to configure automated workflows without the help of IT personnel.   Full Story

Legal Delivery Is Becoming Digitized. What Does That Mean?

Posted: 2017-May-21

The legal industry is becoming digitized. What does that mean? Digitization is a common term lacking a uniform definition. It is often used to describe a suite of IT assets-- networks servers, software, the cloud, and other tools. IT is an essential element, certainly, but digitization is much more than the transition from paper to electronic communication. It is the process—enhanced by technology—of reimagining the delivery of goods and services and creating new business models and structures from which to manage them. Digitization is the interplay of tools, tasks, resources—human and technological—process, and models designed to better serve customers and to provide 24/7/365 connectivity between provider and client.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

The WannaCry Attack: A Wake-up Call for Organizational Information Governance?

Posted: 2017-May-21

The sort of ransomware attack experts have warned about for years has happened. Now organizations need to examine their security postures.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Solving The Legal Industry's Data Protection Breakdown

Posted: 2017-May-17

The legal industry has made a profession out of handling and protecting sensitive data, whether that be in the courtroom or through their IT infrastructure and applications — but the threat of loss from natural disasters, technology failures, human error and cyberattacks is ever looming. In fact, a recent survey by the American Bar Association found that one in four law firms have experienced a data breach from hacks, website attacks, break-ins, or lost/stolen computers or smartphones. [Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

How Artificial Intelligence Can Innovate Today's Law Department

Posted: 2017-May-17

Artificial Intelligence is a hot topic these days, but hype tends to be much easier to find than practical advice on how to use AI in a law department. What kinds of AI can make a difference today? What use cases are best for the benefits AI offers? How can legal service providers leverage AI? These are questions that Paul Lippe, part of Elevate’s Advisory Board, answered with Inside Counsel.   Full Story

Spend Management

Winning the AFA Game

Posted: 2017-May-17

Quick video with advice for law firms that clients can leverage - points to communicate to your firms.    Full Story

7 Trends Changing the Legal Industry

Posted: 2017-May-17

Emerging technologies, economical shifts and legislative changes put the legal industry in a constant state of flux. But these seven trends are set to change the legal industry as we approach the midpoint of 2017.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

General Data Protection Regulation: How to Prepare

Posted: 2017-May-17

From 25 May 2018, new legislation concerning personal data will come into effect across the EU. Here's what your business should be doing   Full Story

Contract Management

Bringing AI Contract Management into Your Legal Department? Here Are 4 Tips

Posted: 2017-May-17

It’s sometimes difficult to be discerning in purchasing and using new and largely unknown technology. Underlying some of these technologies is early stage artificial intelligence, and some legal departments are using it for contract management. But while much has been said of the benefits of AI-enabled contract management, little is known about how best to purchase, maintain and implement such tools.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

ACC Names 2017 ACC Value Champions; Departments Use Innovative Solutions, Data, and Tech to Overcome Top Legal Challenges, Save Time & Money

Posted: 2017-May-17

Corporate legal departments are adding legal operations functions, automating work to make time for higher-value projects, and harnessing technology to allow real-time access to metrics in order to reduce legal spend and improve department performance, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a global legal association representing more than 42,000 members in 85 countries announced today.   Full Story

ACC Legal Ops Observer - May - CLO+CLOO Profile, Conference Preview, Championing the Legal Ops Function

Posted: 2017-May-16

Take a peek into the relationship between the CLO of Liberty Mutual and the Chief Legal Operations Officer, highlights of the upcoming conference, and ways you can champion the egal ops function within the larger ACC community, and raise your profile too.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

ABA Updates Guidance on Client Electronic Communication Confidentiality

Posted: 2017-May-16

Attorneys may need to encrypt or otherwise secure client email to fulfill client confidentiality obligations.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

The GDPR: Teeth, and Considerations for Corporate Legal Counsel and Discovery Teams

Posted: 2017-May-16

The struggle is real. With the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to take effect in May of 2018, the serious implications for corporate legal counsel and e-discovery teams are difficult to deny. Among other aspects of its broad reach, the GDPR extends compliance requirements to both data controllers and “processors,” a distinction that certainly includes e-discovery data processing in the context of litigation and investigations.    Full Story

Spend Management

Judges Say E-Discovery Education at Both State and Federal Levels a Must

Posted: 2017-May-12

The cost could be high when judges and attorneys managing the bulk of litigation remain ill-informed about technology and the value of effective e-discovery.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

The “Business Judgment” Discovery Rule and its Impact on Information Governance

Posted: 2017-May-11

A new trend supporting information governance focuses on the benefits IG offers in connection with proportionality-related litigation requirements.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Treating Meeting Addiction: How a Legal Team Cut Back on Meetings—and Found Happiness

Posted: 2017-May-11

Last year, a tongue-in-cheek internal video featuring in-house lawyers at Australian telecommunications company Telstra Corp. Ltd. went viral among company employees. In the film, lawyers, including group general counsel Carmel Mulhern, proudly reported their achievements in rejecting meeting invitations and cutting back time spent on unproductive meetings.   Full Story

What the Computer May Have Missed (AI and Tacit Knowledge)

Posted: 2017-May-11

In 2002, reporters asked Secretary of Defense Donal Rumsfeld a question at a U.S. Department of Defense news briefing. In answering, he set up a taxonomy that has become popular to catalogue our state of knowledge. In the Rumsfeld Taxonomy, there are things we know, things we don’t know, and things we don’t know we don’t know. In the Secretary’s words, “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns.” The last category, as Secretary Rumsfeld noted, is the most intriguing.   Full Story

3 Tips to Consider When First Implementing Knowledge Management

Posted: 2017-May-10

There are times when legal operations staff and law firm professionals seem to exist in separate worlds. Until, that is, one considers the area of knowledge management (KM). KM technology—information databases and portals used to better manage and share information internally — is used to leverage data to drive efficiency, collaboration and cost savings. But while both law firms and legal departments strive towards the same goals, both are at risk of running into the same pitfalls when first implementing KM.   Full Story

Richard Susskind on the Growing Influence of the Legal Operations Boss

Posted: 2017-May-09

The future of legal departments will depend on the increasingly important roles of legal operations directors and chief operating officers of legal departments, according to author Richard Susskind, who has written several books on the future of legal and professional services. He recently spoke with reporter David Ruiz about what’s next for legal operations, technology solutions of the future and why, in his view, the head of legal operations will play an important role in the development of legal services.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Back in the GDPR: Using Data Mapping to Arrive at a Privacy Impact Assessment

Posted: 2017-May-08

In our last article, we introduced practical global corporate data approaches to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. In this next part of the series, we dig deeper into what is actually entailed during that process while highlighting key differences between Privacy. Shield and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws set to be enacted in the EU on May 25, 2018. With the primary goal of protecting corporate value through exposure containment, this article discusses two major concepts: the basic differences from Privacy Shield to GDPR, and how a global corporation can effectively utilize a corporate data mapping process to arrive at a privacy impact assessment (PIA).    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Don't Let Outliers Sabotage Your Cybersecurity Analytics

Posted: 2017-May-08

"Companies have made hundreds of millions of dollars building tools that look for behavior that's outside a rule or a set of parameters," said Jason Straight, SVP of Cyber Risk Solutions and chief privacy officer at legal outsourcing services provider United Lex. "For machines that works pretty well, for people it doesn't."   Full Story

ACC's New Data Security Guidance to Law Firms: Be Careful What You Ask For

Posted: 2017-May-04

It is almost cliché to say that data security has become the most common concern keeping in-house counsel awake at night. Indeed, many qualified law firms, including ours, have developed the needed expertise to advise clients on the best practices for cybersecurity. And while a law firm's traditional strengths lie in advising clients on avoiding lawsuits and investigations, not being a party to them, more and more find themselves targets of hackers seeking not only the law firm's proprietary information but also the confidential information the firm holds for its clients.   Full Story

Consulting Firm Morae Legal and E-Discovery Provider Clutch Group to Merge

Posted: 2017-May-03

E-discovery service provider Clutch Group and legal consulting company Morae Legal Services today announced their intent to merge their companies. The unified company, Morae Global Corporation, will integrate Morae Legal’s information governance and e-discovery consulting services with Clutch Group’s e-discovery and managed review platforms.   Full Story

Spend Management

New Initiative Seeks to Establish Common Language for Legal Matters

Posted: 2017-May-01

To increase efficiency, it's been suggested that the legal profession is in need of a common vocabulary to describe legal work. One group, Standards for the Legal Industry (SALI), is behind an initiative to create "matter standards" that in-house legal departments, law firms and business partners would be able to use to describe matters, which for in-house counsel could improve everything from procuring to executing legal work.   Full Story

Practice Engineering for 21st Century Legal Services

Posted: 2017-May-01

Part I concerns the (now) essential law-degree-not-required professional roles in legal services—knowledge, pricing, process & projects, practice support, legal ops—and sets the business and operational context. Part II examines what legal services organizations deliver, and how they do it. And Part III considers technology and recommends a new, unifying role—the practice engineer.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

TEN THINGS: 10 ESSENTIAL LEGAL DEPARTMENT ISSUES FOR 2017

Posted: 2017-May-01

There are an amazing number of issues, trends, and headaches to keep track of as in-house counsel. So much, that it can be difficult to know what to focus on. When I was General Counsel I made time each year to step back and try to take a look at the big picture, i.e., given everything going on in the world, what should I and my department be spending time on right now? Certainly, I wanted to make sure things that were important to the goals of business where high on our list. But I also wanted to “benchmark” my team and make sure we were aware of what other legal departments were doing. I would gather information from many different sources and then come up with my own list of current essential “issues/best practices” that I thought we needed to focus on. Generally, my list contained items dealing with risk reduction, technology needs, management practices, key analytics, and ways to enhance the value of the department to the business.   Full Story

The De-Lawyering of Law Firms

Posted: 2017-Apr-30

It’s not exactly a secret within the legal industry that lawyers aren’t the easiest assets to manage. As a general rule, they tend to be expensive, autonomous, difficult to lead, and prone to decamp to competing businesses without warning. The more experienced and expert the lawyer, the more these characteristics will manifest themselves.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

3 Ways Cybersecurity Demands Are Changing E-Discovery

Posted: 2017-Apr-28

While it may seem that cybersecurity guidance has been missing from e-discovery, the industry has lately become more aware of its cybersecurity needs , spurred in no small part by legal and the corporate sector's awareness of its own vulnerabilities. In Ernst & Young's "Cybersecurity in eDiscovery" webinar, experts discussed how this new e-discovery landscape is forming and what is driving its evolution. Here are three highlights from the conversation on how cybersecurity is changing the world of e-discovery.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

The Law Firms Best at Cybersecurity

Posted: 2017-Apr-27

Cybersecurity and data privacy is the fastest growing segment of outside counsel spending. It is also the biggest issue keeping clients awake at night. Clients are placing heavy focus on forward-looking, as well as current, cybersecurity issues. Law firms have been jockeying for position as the market has developed over the last 5 years. And now, clients see a group emerging as the best.   Full Story

Register Now - ACC Legal Ops Conference - June 4-6 Chicago

Posted: 2017-Apr-27

More sessions than ever, and group pricing so that more legal ops professionals from the same company can "divide and conquer." This year, we have added a workshop on design thinking, and shark tanks featuring AI-driven services for prediction, prevention, smart contracting, external spend analytics, and expertise automation. Standing up legal ops in your department? Come early for the boot camp, and sign up for the track of sessions for those in early stages of establishing legal ops.    Full Story

Interested in Speaking at the ACC Legal Ops Conference?

Posted: 2017-Apr-27

If you have knowledge to share about what works (and what doesn't), check out the Agenda and use the Faculty Interest Form to indicate for which sessions you can contribute your know-how and your qualifications to speak on that topic. We will use the form to send candidate speakers to program organizers. Very limited spots still available for legal operations professionals only, especially from smaller legal departments.    Full Story

Spend Management

Five Steps to Better Oversight of E-Discovery Spend

Posted: 2017-Apr-25

A preview of a session on this topic at the upcoming ACC Legal Ops conference. Here are five steps corporate counsel can take to leverage technology and get the data and analytics they need to manage their legal and e-discovery matters more effectively.   Full Story

Ask the Right Questions: From RFP to eDiscovery Process Transformation

Posted: 2017-Apr-23

Law firms and corporations use RFPs to invite promising eDiscovery vendors into a deeper discussion. The scope of RFPs can differ significantly based on an organization’s objectives, whether to reduce overall costs, have more control over their or their clients’ data, bring efficiencies and/or standardization to eDiscovery processes, or even to assess the gap between their needs and an eDiscovery provider’s capabilities. Some invite proposals for end-to-end eDiscovery services or hosted review, some for review platforms, and some for completely outsourced managed services.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

WEBCAST: The Legal Shift: How Changes Within The Corporate Law Department Are Impacting Their Relationship With Law Firms (Tues 25 April)

Posted: 2017-Apr-21

Over the last two decades, corporate clients have responded to rising cost pressures and legal complexity by growing the size of their legal departments and bringing more work in-house. During this time period, the number of in-house lawyers has nearly tripled, increasing from 38,000 in 1997 to 102,000 in 2015. Larger legal departments have also coincided with the rise of the subfield of legal operations, which uses data, process, and technology to reduce costs, improve service delivery, and better manage corporate risk. Although these changes have dramatically shifted the balance of power in favor of corporate clients, law firms remain a crucial resource for specialized legal knowledge and expertise. The challenge for chief legal officers and senior staff is developing a set of management principles that maximize the value of both in-house and outside counsel resources. Toward that end, this panel considers the limits of continuing the legal department “build” strategy and methods for managing outside that have the potential to stimulate innovations that improve cost, quality, and speed of delivery.    Full Story

Contract Management

'Smart Contracts' Demand Sharper Tech Skills From Lawyers, Experts Say

Posted: 2017-Apr-21

Lawyers who advise clients on "smart contracts" drawing on blockchain technology say some potential adopters liken them to a "magic pill" that will provide a cure to all their contract-related headaches. But as "smart contracts" become more common in more sectors of the economy, lawyers will need to increase their technical know-how and renew their focus on counseling clients instead of ministerial work, according to specialists in this fast-evolving field.   Full Story

Legal Marketing Spend Is Up– So Is Client Dissatisfaction. Now What?

Posted: 2017-Apr-21

Competition for corporate legal work is keen. Law firms vie with each other for a shrinking segment of outsourced legal work. Corporate legal departments and a growing array of well capitalized, tech and process savvy service providers now account for an almost 50% of legal spend. It’s not surprising, then, that law firms are stepping up investment in marketing and business development activities. Will this narrow the growing delta between rising demand for legal services and declining call for law firms? Short answer: not unless law firms address the myriad of reasons for client dissatisfaction as well as differentiate themselves.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Microsoft Introduces New Data Governance, Threat Intelligence Offerings for Office 365

Posted: 2017-Apr-17

For legal, Microsoft is trying to streamline records retention and deletion while keeping data in place.   Full Story

HBR Consulting and LexisNexis form IT and legal support joint venture

Posted: 2017-Apr-17

On Tuesday, Legaltech News reported that the two companies had launched Managed Technology Services. The new venture will combine LexisNexis’ technology and data hosting with HBR’s consulting and strategic services.   Full Story

Gaining the Benefits of Legal AI for In-House Counsel

Posted: 2017-Apr-17

The main use cases for legal AI today are in eDiscovery document review, contract analytics, interactive legal advice, and legal research. Multiple law firms have publicly discussed evaluating, piloting, or using AI. If in-house counsel are doing so, they have not gone public about it to my knowledge. In-house lawyers should be aware of two other potential AI use cases: new accounting rules that change revenue recognition and move leases onto balance sheets.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Revisiting The Qualities of Tomorrow’s Top Lawyers

Posted: 2017-Apr-17

To qualify as “top” in the future, knowledge of technology will fall in a category similar to where knowledge of reading and writing falls today. You must have certain essential skills to be in the game. To get to the top of the game requires going far beyond those skills. As you read this essay, assume a baseline of technological competency. As you read along, keep asking this question, “Do we train practicing lawyers and law students to have the qualities they need to succeed?”   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Challenged by the Old and New, Corporate E-Discovery Hits a Wall

Posted: 2017-Apr-17

Many corporations are struggling to meet the demands of e-discovery requests placed upon the data they store in-house, the “Key Issues for E-Discovery and Legal Compliance” report by Osterman Research found. The report surveyed 137 IT professionals in organizations across multiple industries, with each organization handling an average of 75 e-discovery requests over the past 12 months.    Full Story

Spend Management

Machines Are Organizing Legal's Data, But Not Fast Enough

Posted: 2017-Apr-15

The advancements of many legal technologies have rested on their ability to better understand the data they ingest and automatically categorize and classify it. Such is the basis for data analytics, but only recently has classification become so accurate and able to be leveraged for so many purposes, spurred by the advancements in artificial intelligence's (AI) machine-learning capabilities.   Full Story

Allen & Overy: An Old Firm With A New Strategy

Posted: 2017-Apr-15

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.   Full Story

The Legal Vertical Is Already Corporatized; Law Firms Should Be Permitted To Operate That Way, Too

Posted: 2017-Apr-07

It’s time to stop pretending that the $300B U.S. legal industry is anything but big business. All legal providers—including law firms– should be able to operate from a corporate structure. That means they can accept institutional investment capital, share profits with ‘non-lawyers’, and grant shareholders residual equity in the firm after departure. This structure promotes a long-term view that better aligns the interests of lawyers, the firm, and clients. The present U.S. regulatory scheme does not allow law firms to be structured this way, and that is a key reason why firms have failed to innovate. They have lost considerable market share to corporate legal departments and legal service providers, both of whom have corporate structures. The regulatory double standard is harmful to clients as well as law firms and should be reformed as it has been in the UK, Australia, and soon, in other nations.   Full Story

Campbell Soup Exec Heads New ACC Section

Posted: 2017-Apr-07

The Association of Corporate Counsel named Reese Arrowsmith the first chair of the organization's budding legal operations group, called ACC Legal Operations. Arrowsmith, a nonlawyer, currently serves as the vice president and head of legal operations at Campbell Soup Co.   Full Story

Spend Management

How Law Firms Can Compete With Alt Service Providers

Posted: 2017-Apr-07

As an ever-expanding marketplace of alternative service providers becomes the new normal for law departments in search of lower-cost work, the law firms whose work they threaten are learning to live by the old adage, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." [Law360]    Full Story

Legal Depts. Ask Firms for Diversity, Make Efforts In-House

Posted: 2017-Apr-05

Enter the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity's program Pathfinder, specifically focused on minority lawyers with three to six years of experience. The program, said LCLD program director Lori Lorenzo, aims to teach its enrolled attorneys about networking, career development and personal branding. The attorneys cannot "self-select," Lorenzo said, and must be nominated by managers in their companies or law firms.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

What Companies Can Demand From Law Firms on Data Security

Posted: 2017-Apr-04

Association of Corporate Counsel releases first set of model cybersecurity practices.   Full Story

A World of Evolving Competencies for General Counsel

Posted: 2017-Apr-04

Expectations of today’s general counsel have expanded and elevated the job. Many global legal chiefs have reached the summit because they possess many of the nonlegal competencies required today. Midlevel in-house counsel who aspire to a legal chief role must develop these competencies. Broad legal knowledge is assumed. It’s far from enough to succeed as a corporate legal executive in 2017.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

E-Discovery Heads In-House, and It's Not Just Because of Cost

Posted: 2017-Apr-04

In an industrywide survey, legal technology expert Ari Kaplan found corporate e-discovery is being leveraged more toward information governance and analysis tasks.   Full Story

Deadline for Diversity Issued by Top MetLife Lawyer

Posted: 2017-Apr-04

Frustrated by the lack of diversity in the legal profession, MetLife’s General Counsel Ricardo Anzaldua is planning to use his $100 million annual legal budget to nudge law firms in the right direction.   Full Story

Facebook Pushes Outside Law Firms to Become More Diverse

Posted: 2017-Apr-03

A new Facebook policy that kicked in Saturday directs its outside firms to ensure that women and ethnic minorities make up at least a third of legal teams working on Facebook matters. The policy also requires firms to show they “actively identify and create clear and measurable leadership opportunities for women and minorities” for those matters. The move comes amidst efforts by companies to use diversity data to hold companies accountable. This NYT article also mentions D&I policies at HP and MetLife.   Full Story

Companies Use Diversity Data to Hold Law Firms Accountable

Posted: 2017-Apr-03

Corporate diversity programs have come a long way since 1999, when Charles Morgan, then-GC of BellSouth Corp., led a group of his peers to sign a statement promising to consider law firm diversity when hiring their outside counsel. Today, legal departments aren’t just asking firms to field diverse groups of attorneys — they’re asking those firms to put attorneys in leadership positions, and they’re asking for data to back it up.   Full Story

https://bol.bna.com/adopt-the-aba-model-survey-to-improve-diversity-perspective/

Posted: 2017-Apr-03

I recently attended a conference for in-house counsel and a select number of partners from large law firms, focused on promoting diversity in large law firms and corporations. In one of the sessions, I asked how many of the companies present require their outside law firms to provide statistics on diversity (racial and ethnic diversity, gender and sexual orientation), and how they collect the data. As Chief Diversity Officer of my firm [Reed Smith], my team and I have seen a dramatic increase in client requests for diversity statistics and metrics in RFPs and annual diversity surveys. Until this past fall, the requests have been inconsistent, broad or vague, asking for varying statistics and/or narratives.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

What Companies Can Demand From Law Firms on Data Security

Posted: 2017-Mar-31

When hackers broke into the computer networks of two major law firms in New York last year, stealing confidential client information allegedly used for insider trading, cybersecurity jumped up on the list of issues keeping in-house counsel awake at night. The targeting of the law firms served as a wake-up call for the legal industry. Indeed, in surveys, the Association for Corporate Counsel has seen more and more in-house lawyers describe cybersecurity as “extremely” important.   Full Story

Demo Webcast: Manage more than your budget; Use a law firm evaluation app to manage performance (May 17 @ 12:30 p.m. EST)

Posted: 2017-Mar-30

How satisfied are corporate legal departments with the business value they get for the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent with outside counsel? In recent years, corporate teams have focused more than ever on managing the costs associated with legal services, putting pressure on fees and investing in process improvement and technology. Meanwhile understanding the business value delivered by outside partners has proven far more elusive. By quantifying performance, QualMet provides in-house counsel with the tools to define, drive, and demonstrate continuous growth in business value. QualMet’s on-line performance management platform makes quantifying, sharing and tracking value refreshingly straightforward and simple for in-house counsel and law firms alike. Come and see how QualMet’s solution will deliver higher levels of business value for your corporation.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

4 Pitfalls to Avoid in a Cyberinsurance Policy

Posted: 2017-Mar-29

As more and more companies enter the burgeoning cyberinsurance marketplace, they often ask policyholder counsel like me how they can choose the best cyberpolicy when confronted with so many choices. When the marketplace was still in its infancy just a few years ago, this was a considerably harder question because the policy forms, including the scope of first party and liability coverages being offered by different insurers, varied so drastically.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

What GCs Can Learn From Legal Operations Pros

Posted: 2017-Mar-29

It's the job of legal operations directors to ensure the law department runs at peak efficiency and effectiveness, so it's no surprise that they're full of wisdom about how in-house teams can improve. Here are three legal operations professionals' top tips. Don't think of tech as a panacea. Recognize that tech needs an active manager. Partner with your firms. Assign work to the right people. Don't reinvent the wheel. Simplify. [Law360]   Full Story

Contract Management

Inside the 'Robot Review': 3 Trends Defining the Artificial Intelligence Contract Market

Posted: 2017-Mar-28

The market for AI contract solutions is fueled by competitive innovation, differing law firm and legal department demands and the evolution of corporate legal.   Full Story

Corporate Departments Are Taking The Lead In Creating A More Diverse Legal Industry

Posted: 2017-Mar-27

The legal profession has a dismal record on diversity—especially large law firms. Between 2007 and 2015, there was a decline in the number of black attorneys in big firms. And, per the same study conducted by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and Vault.com, the number of Asian-American lawyers receiving promotions in 2014 was less than in 2007.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

I Am an AI Luddite (and Why You Should Be One Too)

Posted: 2017-Mar-26

ACC Legal Operations' member Peter Krakaur's LinkedIn post discusses potential impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the legal profession. Specifically: (i) WHY you should care about AI, (ii) WHAT AI means, (iii) WHERE we are now, and (iv) HOW should you prepare. He suggests three perspectives as you consider AI impacts: (1) the legal practice, (2) individual legal professional roles, and (3) businesses, organizations and society (which necessarily drive the first two). This is not a survey of all AI developments associated with the business and practice of law. Instead, he provides you with resources to appreciate the trajectory and make your own decision on what to do and when.   Full Story

‘Legal Innovation’ Is Not An Oxymoron—It’s Farther Along Than You Think

Posted: 2017-Mar-26

The legal industry is known for adherence to precedent, not innovation. While precedent remains a guiding principle in the practice of law, innovation is transforming the models, methods, and players involved in the buy/sell process of legal services. Technology, process, access to institutional capital, re-reregulation, client demand for enhanced value, and changes in other professional service industry delivery models—notably medicine and accounting– are legal innovation’s principal drivers.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Let’s Stop With the Profit Center Nonsense

Posted: 2017-Mar-26

Four years ago, a person parking in the company parking lot dinged the door on my new truck. He or she opened their car door too wide. At the time, I thought, “wow, I could file a lawsuit for damages and become the new profit center for my family.” Okay. I thought something else (which I will refrain from saying as this is a family blog). But, had I thought the “family profit center” idea it would have reflected a popular idea circulating in the legal industry. Consultants and some general counsel advocated turning law departments into profit centers. I thought this nonsense had died. But, I saw a new white paper on the topic so I guess we need to work harder to kill this bad idea.   Full Story

Spend Management

With Hourly Rates Rising, Report Shows Spotty Record for GC's Cost-Constraint Tactics

Posted: 2017-Mar-24

Hourly rates are rebounding strongly from the post-recession doldrums and Big Law is leading the way in capturing more money for their time. Nonetheless, overall demand for lawyers’ time continues to fall, according to an analysis released Monday of actual legal invoices from nearly 100 companies.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

From the Ground Up: Inside Oracle's Knowledge Management Project

Posted: 2017-Mar-24

As legal departments grow and take on more responsibilities, managing and distributing information assets—from legal guides on recent case law to information on new hires and teams—can become daunting. Holding conference calls or meetings no longer suffice; the modern legal department calls for knowledge management (KM) platforms, which are essentially internal information databases and portals. But while KM platforms provide the chance to better integrate and meet the evolving demands of a legal department, implementing and maintaining them is a complex undertaking.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Pro Bono Institute CEO Talks In-House Work For Public Good

Posted: 2017-Mar-24

In-house pro bono programs can boost morale and build stronger teams, but corporate legal departments need to address a few unique issues before launching one, according to Eve Runyon, president and CEO of the Pro Bono Institute. [Law360]   Full Story

Driving Diversity and Inclusion from the Inside Out

Posted: 2017-Mar-22

Even after years of continued efforts from the best and brightest to drive diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, The Washington Post and other media outlets have given law the dubious distinction of being the “least diverse profession.” While this certainly is disappointing, some organizations, including Mastercard, are taking it as a call to action.   Full Story

Spend Management

Consilio Brings Together Analytics and Human Review in In-House Cost-Containment Service

Posted: 2017-Mar-22

The "External Spend Optimization" tool promises to provide actionable data to control spending on outside counsel.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

In-House Legal Technology Adoption Often Pivots on One Key Variable: Project Sponsors

Posted: 2017-Mar-21

It is often up to general counsel and legal operations managers to support, and closely manage, their department's technology adoption.   Full Story

Rise of the Robolawyers

Posted: 2017-Mar-21

Near the end of Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2, Dick the Butcher offers a simple plan to create chaos and help his band of outsiders ascend to the throne: “Let’s kill all the lawyers.” Though far from the Bard’s most beautiful turn of phrase, it is nonetheless one of his most enduring. All these years later, the law is still America’s most hated profession and one of the least trusted, whether you go by scientific studies or informal opinion polls. Thankfully, no one’s out there systematically murdering lawyers. But advances in artificial intelligence may diminish their role in the legal system or even, in some cases, replace them altogether. Here’s what we stand to gain—and what we should fear—from these technologies. [from The Atlantic]   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Creating a Legal Event Team; The Key to Efficient and Effective Corporate E-Discovery

Posted: 2017-Mar-20

The best way to create a successful business process is to start by identifying the people who are key to both creating and managing that process, and then bringing those people together to do just that. That is especially true when it comes to critical business processes such as disaster recovery, business continuity, and data breach detection and response—all events for which organizations routinely form teams and create action plans to address. Yet, even though legal events are often as unavoidable an eventuality as those mentioned above, and at least as disruptive as any of those events, most organizations fail to prepare and plan for legal events until the organization is knee-deep in the event and scrambling to react.    Full Story

AI is Doing Legal Work. But It Won't Replace Lawyers, Yet.

Posted: 2017-Mar-20

Impressive advances in artificial intelligence technology tailored for legal work have led some lawyers to worry that their profession may be Silicon Valley's next victim.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Ten Things: Getting Internal Investigations Right

Posted: 2017-Mar-20

There are a number of unpleasant tasks that in-house counsel must perform on occasion. Probably near the top of the list is participating in/leading an internal investigation. The reason it’s such a crummy deal it because it means that the company’s own employees or management have potentially engaged in some type of wrong doing. That wrong doing can range from breaking the company’s business ethics policy to engaging in some type of criminal behavior.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Design Thinking- Beyond Look and Feel

Posted: 2017-Mar-20

'People spend lot of time on designing the bridge but not enough time thinking about the people who will be crossing it' Majority of organizational problems arise because the research which is carried out to develop path-breaking products and services; is not received in the same manner by end-users, as assumed. This clearly shows that what lacks here is, Design Thinking....   Full Story

Contract Management

JPMorgan Software Does in Seconds What Took Lawyers 360,000 Hours

Posted: 2017-Mar-17

At JPMorgan Chase & Co., a learning machine is parsing financial deals that once kept legal teams busy for thousands of hours. The program, called COIN, for Contract Intelligence, does the mind-numbing job of interpreting commercial-loan agreements that, until the project went online in June, consumed 360,000 hours of work each year by lawyers and loan officers. The software reviews documents in seconds, is less error-prone and never asks for vacation.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); 12 steps to take now

Posted: 2017-Mar-16

Many of the GDPR’s main concepts and principles are much the same as those in the current Data Protection Act (DPA), so if you are complying properly with the current law then most of your approach to compliance will remain valid under the GDPR and can be the starting point to build from. However, there are new elements and significant enhancements, so you will have to do some things for the first time and some things differently.    Full Story

ACC Legal Ops Observer - March Issue - Design Thinking, AI, Outside Counsel Management & ACC Legal Ops' New Chair

Posted: 2017-Mar-16

Check out plans for the design thinking workshop at the 2017 ACC Legal Operations conference, the new chair of the ACC Legal Operations section and the strategic plan he formulated with the Steering Committee, and perspectives from fellow legal ops pros on the status of AI in legal services and outside counsel management. Plus, some suggestions of ways to get involved and contribute to the mission of ACC Legal Ops.    Full Story

Surprising Findings On The Latest Class Action Litigation Trends

Posted: 2017-Mar-16

The 2017 Carlton Fields Class Action Survey has just been released, and the findings reveal some unexpected trends in class action litigation, based on insights provided by 387 general counsels and chief legal officers at major corporations in more than 25 industries.   Full Story

Spend Management

Minimizing Transaction Costs to Drive Value in Outsourcing Relationships

Posted: 2017-Mar-16

Of course, there are the typical answers about how to drive value in outsourcing—lowering cost, improving process efficiency, and allowing key resources the ability to focus on high value issues instead of repeatable functions. Yet, there is a component of value that commonly is overlooked but that often is the reason that outsourcing relationships fail: transaction costs.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Seven cyber security predictions for 2017

Posted: 2017-Mar-15

The face of cyber security is changing constantly, and 2017 will be no exception. Here are seven cyber predictions and trends that we’ve seen emerging in 2017 and will gain in importance as the year progresses and beyond.   Full Story

The Trailblazers: Advice, Insight and Wisdom From Women Leaders in Corporate Legal Tech

Posted: 2017-Mar-15

For International Women's Day, Legaltech News interviewed five women trailblazers to discuss challenges they faced over their distinguished careers, their advice to future generations, and their thoughts how to promote a more gender-balanced legal tech environment.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Getting over technology

Posted: 2017-Mar-15

Ten to fifteen years from now, by the time our late-teens prospective lawyer is well into her career, many law firms will offer a branded, mobile, user-friendly application to which their clients subscribe, on a paid or even a complimentary basis. Clients will ask this application — out loud, with their voices — questions about how the law applies to a situation they’re facing, or what they should do in a circumstance in which they find themselves. They’ll receive immediate, practical, and accurate answers from the application, close it up, and get on with what they’re doing.   Full Story

Contract Management

In Health Care, Is Blockchain the Technology Legal Has Been Waiting For?

Posted: 2017-Mar-15

A recent survey found that data security is the No. 1 issue worrying lawyers at health care systems nationwide. In-house attorneys reported that the explosion of information, devices and new technology that puts sensitive patient data at risk makes practicing in this highly regulated industry complicated. But it may just be a new technology that starts putting general counsel's minds at ease.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Inhouse Counsel Salaries – 2017 Guide

Posted: 2017-Mar-14

Robert Half Legal has released its latest report which contains data on projected inhouse counsel salaries for 2017. The report shows a salary range (from small to large sized companies) of $137,500 to $269,500 for lawyers with 10+ years of experience, $111,500 to $224,750 for lawyers with 4-9 years of experience, and $87,000 to $166,750 for lawyers with 0-3 years of experience.   Full Story

Spend Management

More Companies Consolidate Outside Legal Work: LexisNexis Report

Posted: 2017-Mar-13

A trend in which legal departments are cutting the number of law firms that handle outside legal work does not appear to be slowing, according to a new study. The LexisNexis CounselLink Electronic Legal Management Trends report—which assesses billing data—showed 62 percent of the companies included in the study had 10 firms or fewer account for 80 percent or more of their outside counsel fees in 2016. The number of companies consolidating their outside legal work increased from 2015, according to the report.   Full Story

Why Data (Intelligence) is the Key to Value Creation for Legal Teams

Posted: 2017-Mar-10

With so many parts of a business relying on critical information from these contracts, you would think this would have been an area of innovation over the last few years. But surprisingly, the uptake of innovative and efficiency-improving technology for contract reviews has been limited. This means that there is a huge opportunity for legal teams to create additional value by coupling more sophisticated technology with intelligent analysis.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Early Mistakes In An Internal Investigation Can Be Very Costly—Here's How To Avoid Them

Posted: 2017-Mar-10

Volkswagen, email hacking, foreign exchange trading—organizations are focused on investigating issues or concerns that have major headlines. In this age of transparency, internal investigations have proliferated across a wide range of industry sectors—financial services, automotive, pharmaceutical, retail and many others. We have seen multiple enforcement agencies competing to investigate the same matter, appearances before governmental committees, and trial by press. The stakes have never been higher and the importance of conducting an internal investigation in the right way has never been greater. Yet there is a lack of practical guidance on how to run an investigation in-house. What should the early phases of a good investigation look like? How to best support boards, general counsels, and corporate executives navigate the myriad, complex issues that arise? These questions often are unanswered.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Achieving Information Governance Enforcement: Ensure Policies Aren't Left to Collect Dust

Posted: 2017-Mar-10

A lot of organizations have created general information management policies, which are typically owned by the records or knowledge management teams. These policies include a retention and deletion schedule that in theory should be defensible, and address legal hold and compliance needs. But in practice, these policies typically cannot be executed upon or maintained.    Full Story

Spend Management

Corporate Procurement is Increasingly Leveraging Data & Technology in Selecting Outside Counsel

Posted: 2017-Mar-10

Inside Counsel sat down with Mozarsky and Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein, executive director of The Buying Legal Counsel, in a recent interview to discuss why data and technology are driving the shift away from relationship buying and selling in the legal industry to decision making. According to Mozarsky, everything stems from the desire of corporate clients to derive greater value from their relationships with outside law firms.   Full Story

Top Cybersecurity Innovations of 2017

Posted: 2017-Mar-08

So far this year, there have been three key cybersecurity developments including blockchain, cloud security, and machine learning/artificial intelligence (AI). Michael Whitener, VLP Partner, sat down with Inside Counsel to discuss the new cybersecurity developments of 2017 and how they will affect the future of the industry.   Full Story

Contract Management

The Corporate Blockchain Groups Defining the Future of Legal Ops

Posted: 2017-Mar-06

In 2017, it is no longer a question of if, but when and how blockchain technology will start to impact in-house legal operations. The enthusiasm for the technology—essentially a digital network of information, compiled in a decentralized database shared with users that may have access—has already manifested in different forms, from tech incubators to blockchain legal defense coalitions.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Artificial Intelligence Raises Ethical Concerns For Attys

Posted: 2017-Mar-06

Artificial intelligence is a prospect in the legal industry that promises greater accuracy, cost savings and an escape from grunt work — but the new frontier of legal tools presents ethical questions attorneys need to address, panelists said at a conference Friday. From technology-assisted review to online form providers to brief-writing software, the tools that fall under the AI umbrella are leading to a paradigm shift in the legal industry, said attorneys speaking at the Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference in Chicago. But with that paradigm shift comes a learning curve regarding the ethical obligations attorneys face with this new class of legal tools. [Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Spend Management

Legal's Relationship With Procurement Experts Is Growing, Survey Says

Posted: 2017-Mar-04

It's the case in just about every major corporate legal department—the pressure is on to function more as a part of the business than just a cost center. And according to a new survey from Bloomberg Law and The Buying Legal Council, a change in how legal departments approach their outside counsel spending may be the catalyst for massive department innovation. The 2017 Legal Procurement Survey indicates that the use of legal procurement experts is growing, with those studied in driving buying decisions in other divisions of a corporation applying their talents to legal. Only 27 percent of respondents said procurement plays "little to no role" in hiring of outside counsel; 33 percent, meanwhile, said procurement's main duty is as a partner and adviser in the decision.   Full Story

Spend Management

Executive Workshop on Value-Based Fees, Project Management & Process Improvement

Posted: 2017-Mar-04

The ACC Legal Service Management workshop is two days of experiential learning in combining value-based fees with key project and process management tools for in-house and outside counsel (legal ops pros are welcome too!) - blending instruction with facilitated exercises in small groups to practice using effective techniques and tools to drive value in external spend. April 19-20 in Dallas.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

How to Attract More Millennials to the Legal Workforce

Posted: 2017-Mar-03

More and more so-called “millennials” (generally those born between 1980 and 2000) are starting jobs each day, and because they represent the largest generation yet (with more than 80 million in the United States alone), by 2020 they will make up a majority of America’s workforce. In this series, we will explore tools that successful companies are using to attract, retain and get the most out of millennials.   Full Story

Contract Management

Webcast: Levelling the Playing Field - Intelligent Parsing of 3rd Party Contracts (March 9th at 2:00 p.m. ET)

Posted: 2017-Mar-01

While contracts have always been important for businesses, the connected and ever shrinking world has brought them into sharper focus. Clear and unambiguous contracts are a necessity, yet not every organization has reached the level to draft such tight agreements. While we strive for tighter, clearer contracts, the insertion of third party paper into our well-structured drafting and approval process may be disruptive. Implementing a solution that embraces third party contracts, that digests and compartmentalizes individual clauses, and facilitates comparisons and risk profiling can lead to greater efficiency and smoother collaborations within and external to the organization. The session will be beneficial for anyone involved in the building or negotiation of contracts for their organizations, including legal, contract and sales professionals.    Full Story

Spend Management

Procurement and Legal; A Perfect Storm

Posted: 2017-Feb-27

There are some things in life that don’t seem quite right when put together: take Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch, everything about Donald Trump and the presidential race, kids and matches, high heels and a nice polished floor. Another awkward anomaly is the procurement department sidling up with in-house legal and attempting to make nice. Getting procurement in just hasn’t been done very well before in the legal sector. The procurement department is certainly no stranger to corporate life in sectors other than legal; it has been an accepted part of big business over time. Legal are just late to the procurement party and it seems they’d rather not attend it at all; while law firms have been just as resistant to procurement interfering in the business of buying and selling legal services.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Diversity and Inclusion in the US 2017: Read The Legal 500's latest report

Posted: 2017-Feb-22

The Legal 500's GC Magazine teamed up with Paul Hastings to produce a practical report into diversity and inclusion in-house across the United States. Here we present the introduction to the report. At the foot of this article will be more details of how to access the full report.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Artificial Intelligence Meets The Mainstream: AI's Potential Impact on In-House Practice

Posted: 2017-Feb-22

The ACC Docket article provides a lawyer's guide to AI basics, plus explores further applications in eDiscovery and contracting, litigation, and billing. Implications in employment ind IP law are also discussed.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Baby Boomer Opportunity

Posted: 2017-Feb-22

The conclusion of this blog from Ken Grady in Seytlines: The retirement of Baby Boomers means the legal industry will watch some knowledge walk out the door. We will lose some experience. But if we don’t change our behavior, we will lose an important opportunity. We lose the opportunity to become team builders and team players. We lose the chance to integrate what we do with what others do to enhance our problem solving abilities. We lose our chance to solve problems. We become the technocrats that computers can replace. [His argument is worth a read]   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

The Actual Cost of In-House Artificial Intelligence Adoption

Posted: 2017-Feb-17

The time, capital and personnel required to get basic AI technologies running in-house underscores why such implementation is limited to legal teams.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

The Actual Cost of In-House Artificial Intelligence Adoption

Posted: 2017-Feb-17

The time, capital and personnel required to get basic AI technologies running in-house underscores why such implementation is limited to legal teams.   Full Story

Spend Management

Microsoft is Overhauling How it Hires Outside Law Firms

Posted: 2017-Feb-17

Microsoft Corp. is planning to overhaul its so-called “preferred provider program,” its internal system that determines which outside law firms the corporation routinely uses, one of its lawyers said. “We’re about to launch a significantly redesigned version of it over the next 12 to 18 months,” said Lucy Endel Bassli, assistant general counsel of legal operations and contracting at Microsoft. Although development is in its early stages, the new program will prioritize law firms with expertise in specific practice areas rather than general services, and will experiment with so-called “affinity relationships,” in which expert panels of firms will be asked to provide the company with advice on issues from a variety of perspectives.   Full Story

How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 2

Posted: 2017-Feb-17

Today’s conversations about artificial intelligence inevitably conjure up images of strong AI — of Westworld’s Dolores and Ex Machina’s Ava — and from there, it is but a small leap toward the ominous superintelligence. The looming question — the one that keeps people like Stephen Hawking, Nick Bostrom and Elon Musk up at night — is: when we succeed at creating a strong AI, will we still be fully in control? This is a question that, researchers estimate, we will have decades to ponder. The more immediate issue is what questions do you need to be asking now about AI? Now is the time to start thinking about how AI can improve corporate performance, because we have already entered the “narrow AI” revolution — augmented intelligence — where programs assist humans by performing discrete tasks faster and more accurately than a human could, from scheduling appointments, to early cancer detection, to autonomous driving. Here are five questions to get you started. [Law360 paywall]    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

A World of Evolving Competencies for General Counsel

Posted: 2017-Feb-17

Expectations of today’s general counsel have expanded and elevated the job. Many global legal chiefs have reached the summit because they possess many of the nonlegal competencies required today. Midlevel in-house counsel who aspire to a legal chief role must develop these competencies. Broad legal knowledge is assumed. It’s far from enough to succeed as a corporate legal executive in 2017.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Some In-House Departments Start Encrypting Emails

Posted: 2017-Feb-16

Amid news of increased law firm data breaches, some in-house legal departments are encrypting emails with their outside counsel on sensitive matters, including high-stakes litigation and mergers and acquisitions. While email encryption, or encoding, has helped both law firms and clients, there are no unified best practices, said several in-house professionals. They said complications in technology and installation also are hindering their efforts.   Full Story

Knowledge Management

Survey Says In-House Counsel Double Down on Quality in Patent Programs

Posted: 2017-Feb-16

More in-house counsel are focusing on the quality of their patent programs, a new survey from IP management and analytics software company Lecorpio says.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

3 Ways In-House Counsel Can Navigate International Data Regulations

Posted: 2017-Feb-16

Adhering to such international data regulations can be a tall order for corporate counsel, but one that can be readily met by taking some specific precautionary measures and employing a hefty dose of foresight. Counsel who spoke at Legalweek: The Experience sessions, as well as Zapproved’s “Corporate E-Discovery Hero Award” ceremony, for example, have been able to navigate the complex regulatory terrain by following a few tried-and-true steps.   Full Story

Why Re-Regulation And Equity Matter In Legal Delivery

Posted: 2017-Feb-16

It’s time the U.S. legal industry puts pressure on State Bars to effect re-regulation that promotes competition, sanctions law firm investment capital for technology, process, and retention of top-flight talent, and allows ‘non-lawyers’ to invest in law firms, share profits, and take them public.[Legal Mosaic blog]   Full Story

Spend Management

'The goal is not to be punitive' - HP's legal chief on how firms are responding to diversity demands

Posted: 2017-Feb-15

The legal profession has long struggled with diversity and inclusion. HP has taken a novel step in announcing that the company may withhold legal fees from law firms that do not meet diversity staffing requirements. Kim Rivera, HP’s chief legal officer and general counsel, revealed the new policy in a letter addressed to law firm partners. Law firms that do not meet HP’s “diversity mandate” could see their invoiced fees withheld by 10%.   Full Story

Spend Management

HP's GC Says 'Diversity Mandate' Embraced by Law Firms

Posted: 2017-Feb-15

“I spoke to GCs and law firm partners across the country and much to my gratification, they were very open and collaborative,” Rivera said in an interview Tuesday with ALM affiliate Corporate Counsel. The policy will apply to all U.S.-based law firms working for HP with 10 or more attorneys. It requires firms have “at least one diverse firm relationship partner regularly engaged with HP on billing and staffing issues” or “at least one woman and one racially/ethnically diverse attorney, each performing or managing at least 10 percent of the billable hours worked on HP matters.”   Full Story

Spend Management

Did We Serenely Pass A Tipping Point?

Posted: 2017-Feb-10

In his blog, Seytlines, Ken Grady makes the argument that buyers have more alternatives today to get their legal needs serviced. They understand this and have decreased their reliance on law firms. Law firms struggle to respond and keep the benefits of the current supply chain structure. That is, law firms still want outsized profits. Buyers perpetuate the transaction structure that helps law firms. Swapping one supplier for another does not change the structure. Both buyers and suppliers will do better over the long run by changing the supply chain structure.    Full Story

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Law Practice

Posted: 2017-Feb-10

Law is well-suited to AI, the thinking goes, because law is based on systems of rules and strict logical reasoning, and because lawyers must surmount exponentially growing mountains of data as they strive to accurately advise their clients. In truth, the use of AI and related technologies in law has been building for years. E-discovery in litigation, automated document assembly in corporate law, and even legal research search engines all use incredibly sophisticated cognitive technologies. Much more can—and will—be said about specific implementations of AI in law. But there is one overarching question covering them all: What are the ethical implications of using AI in law?    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Data Analytics To Aid Outside Counsel Picks In 2017: Report

Posted: 2017-Feb-09

Corporate legal departments are increasing their use of data analytics not only for tasks such as document review and e-discovery, but also in the selection of outside counsel, a report out on Wednesday found. The perception of the importance of data analytics among corporate counsel skyrocketed in 2017, according to the report by the Coalition of Technology Resources for Lawyers, or CTRL, with the overwhelming majority of respondents, 99 percent, agreeing that data analytics will be “indispensable” to the legal profession over the next 10 years. [Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

How Legal Departments A re Using Data Analytics

Posted: 2017-Feb-09

A discussion about the potentially revolutionary role of data analytics in the future of law can be heard at almost any event where lawyers gather. As with any new technology, the uncertainty about data analytics in the practice of law paradoxically seems to drive both optimism and concern. Despite all the discussion, it has remained unclear how legal departments are actually using or planning to use these emerging capabilit ies. To paint a clearer picture, CTRL engaged a think tank (the Information Governance Initiative) to conduct a survey regarding the use of data analytics by in - house legal departments across these six use cases : eDiscovery / Other Investigations, Legal Matter Management, Billing, & Budgeting, Information Governance, Outcome Analysis or Risk Assessment, Contract Review, Selection of Outside Counsel.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

3 Top Pieces of Advice From the Front Lines of Data Risk Management

Posted: 2017-Feb-08

Long gone are the days when an in-house counsel’s job can be performed solely based on legal knowledge alone. From managing and understanding e-discovery to preparing for international data regulations and mitigating the risks of runaway corporate data, the digital age is forcing counsel to adapt to many roles and understand a variety of expertise.   Full Story

Spend Management

Build or Buy? The Evolution of Law Department Sourcing

Posted: 2017-Feb-07

The report, Build or Buy? The Evolution of Law Department Sourcing, featuring the results of ALM Intelligence’s inaugural Corporate Counsel Insourcing and Outsourcing Survey and supporting research and interviews, examines the current state of corporate counsel insourcing and outsourcing and highlights key trends affecting the future.   Full Story

Contract Management

Self-Enforcing Smart Contracts Will Change Your Life

Posted: 2017-Feb-07

Technologists are now taking this concept to the next level. Rather than a physical machine controlling a transaction, computer code can facilitate more complex transactions. The efforts to use smart contracts in complex transactions have faced two major hurdles: (1) how does the computer control the assets to be transferred; and (2) what computer can be trusted by both parties to a deal. Many believe those two hurdles can be cleared by something called “blockchain” technology.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The 2017 Georgetown Legal Report And The Sunset Of The Traditional Law Firm Partnership Model

Posted: 2017-Feb-06

‘The Georgetown Report,’ as it's commonly referred to, confirms that corporate legal buyers are directing more work away from large law firms, electing to take it in-house or to legal service providers (read: alternatives sources to the traditional law firm partnership model). The Report provides a broad range of data confirming weaknesses in the traditional model. Corporate legal departments and service providers have stepped in to fill the law firm vacuum.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

GCs May Get Rid of Underperforming Firms in 2017, Survey Says

Posted: 2017-Feb-02

Nearly 50 percent of global general counsel and chief legal officers say they might end a law firm or outside counsel relationship this year because of underperformance, according to a new survey from the Association of Corporate Counsel, the bar association for in-house attorneys.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Study finds law firms and corporations increasingly turning to alternative legal service providers

Posted: 2017-Feb-02

A majority of law firms and corporations are already using alternative legal service providers (ALSP) in at least one service category, and more intend to do so in the coming year. That was the main finding in a study released Tuesday by the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, in partnership with the Georgetown University Law Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and the University of Oxford Said Business School.    Full Story

The Machine Age Is Ready to 'Go': Andrew McAfee on the New Technology Marketplace

Posted: 2017-Feb-02

In 2014, just three years ago, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson wrote “The Second Machine Age,” which chronicled the forces of technological change and how technology continues to rapidly advance. But now, McAfee says, there is one main problem with that book: “We badly underestimated the scope and the pace of technological process. I would feel bad about that, except everybody else did too.”   Full Story

Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017

Posted: 2017-Feb-02

The pace of technological innovation is faster today than ever before. Just a few years ago, cloud technologies were considered cutting-edge. Now a robust and mature platform, cloud technologies are driving advancements and creating new paradigms in business, health care, research, and the interconnected world. So what new innovations can we expect for 2017? Gartner recently identified the top technology trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2017. Strategic technology trends are defined as those with substantial disruptive potential that is just beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use or which are rapidly growing trends with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Nearly Half Of GCs May Fire A Firm In 2017

Posted: 2017-Feb-02

In-house hiring has stabilized, outside budgets are rising, and a third of general counsels anticipate that they’ll increase the amount of work they outsource, according to a survey of chief legal officers. But the news is not all rosy, as some law firms may face the chopping block. It’s also interesting to see that 48 percent of those who terminated a firm last year anticipate increasing their use of alternative fee arrangements in 2017,” said Veta Richardson, the ACC's president and CEO. “ACC’s work to advance the ACC Value Challenge principles [which emphasize value-based billing] is making a difference, and predictions for the end of the hourly billing model may be coming closer to fruition.” [Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

An Architectural Approach to Law Department Diversity

Posted: 2017-Feb-02

Diversity in corporate legal departments is generally more developed than diversity in law firms. However, legal departments still have a long way to go, especially when looking at the ranks of senior leadership. If sustainable progress regarding diversity is desired, senior leadership must first create an environment supportive of diversity.    Full Story

Contract Management

3 Goals to Effective Contract Management

Posted: 2017-Feb-02

A recent report laid bare one of the most pressing problems of today's companies — and their GCs. Simply put, the report found that businesses of all types do a poor job of contract management.With so much focus today on reducing costs, maximizing efficiency and increasing productivity, establishing and implementing best practices for contract management should be at the top of the agenda for both CEOs and their GCs. This article looks at the goals of effective contract management and what can be achieved through a comprehensive approach to this crucial operational process.   Full Story

Spend Management

A Blueprint for Legal Department Budgeting and Forecasting – Part 2: Best Practices

Posted: 2017-Jan-31

In Part 1 of this 2-part series on legal department budgeting and forecasting, I discussed many reasons legal departments choose to implement matter budgets. I also identified six key benefits that result from implementing a formal matter budgeting process. This concluding installment explores proven best practices for ensuring the effectiveness of the budgeting and forecasting process.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Ten Things: Succession Planning for In-House Legal Departments

Posted: 2017-Jan-31

I want to discuss a topic of growing importance to in-house legal departments around the globe: succession planning. It’s no secret that the population is getting older and the “Baby Boom” generation is starting to retire. While a number of companies are working hard to put formal succession plans into place, there are many that are behind the curve. Moreover, most company plans tend to focus on succession of the CEO or CFO. Other key C-Suite positions are not receiving the same level of attention, or any attention at all. In particular, the succession of the General Counsel is often relegated to “also-ran” status. And within the legal department itself, there is usually little to no formal planning going on around succession management for senior or other key roles. This lack of planning can lead to big problems down the road.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Five Tips To Avoid Mistakes In Electronic Document Review

Posted: 2017-Jan-31

These tips are based on a long life of litigation legal practice, including thousands of document reviews going back to 1978. I have seen hundreds of mistakes over the years, especially in the last decade when my work as a lawyer has been limited to electronic discovery. Many of these blunders were made by “the other side.” Some were funny and made me smile, others were not and led to motions of all kinds.   Full Story

Litigation forecast 2017; What corporate counsel need to know for the coming year

Posted: 2017-Jan-31

Crowell & Moring's 2017 Litigation Forecast takes a deep dive into the important issues, trends, and likely litigation challenges that businesses may face in 2017. It provides concise, forward-looking perspectives on developments affecting a wide range of companies in nine areas of law: antitrust, class actions, environmental, government contracts, intellectual property, labor and employment, product liability, recovery, and white collar. The cover story, "Investigations – Under Pressure and Out of Time," spotlights the challenges general counsel face when leading their companies through investigations in the digital age, and offers practical advice on addressing those challenges.    Full Story

Webcast: Key Steps to for Law Departments to Unlock the Potential of Law Firm Data Analytics, Feb 23 @Noon (EST)

Posted: 2017-Jan-30

Law firms are awash in data – but in most firms it’s an unrecognized or under-used asset. During the next five years, predictive analytics (sometimes called machine learning or cognitive computing) will make its mark in the management toolboxes of sophisticated law firms departments, particularly in what they request their key law firms need to do. Law departments that direct their primary firms to collect, structure and learn from their data will be able to make better decisions regarding productivity, matter management, and cost control. This will demystify data analytics for business operations and put it in a practical context for law department leaders who want to understand its power and potential (and limitations). This will be an open forum to discuss real world applications to predict costs, forecast outcomes, save money and make better business decisions. Presented by Rees Morrison, Esq. Altman Weil    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Some Cells Are Good

Posted: 2017-Jan-29

The word “cell” has picked up an unfortunate connotation in recent years as terrorist cells have taken over the news. Lawyers probably want to avoid any suggestion that they work as part of a cell. But the truth is, cells can be a good thing…To avoid the negative connotation now associated with the word, and to move into a way of looking at things more familiar to legal services providers, I’m going to switch to the term “team station.” Cell and team station are not substitutes, but team station will help us get to where we need to go. More importantly, thinking about teams will help us work through how to generate predictable, productive, quality, and low cost legal services.   Full Story

Contract Management

Can Corporate Counsel Leveraging AI Give Contract Attorneys a Run for Their Money?

Posted: 2017-Jan-25

Beyond automating contract review, artificial intelligence technology may empower corporate counsel to automate their law firms' contract expertise.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Dept. Operations Pros Prioritize Financial Metrics

Posted: 2017-Jan-24

Legal operations professionals tasked with quantifying corporate legal departments’ budgets, efficiency and effectiveness have a full plate, tracking numerous metrics they deem important with little automation to lessen their load, according to recently releaed survey results. The five metrics that legal operations professionals ranked as the most important from a list of 15 all fell under the category of financial control. [Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Don’t Worry, Attorneys: AI Comes In Peace (Perspective)

Posted: 2017-Jan-23

AI will undoubtedly affect white-collar jobs. It stands to make some obsolete. But as a legal technologist, I’m quite sure it won’t replace attorneys any time soon. In fact, attorneys are some of the people who stand to benefit most from its advance.   Full Story

Law Firms Using Their Data Edge to Deliver What Clients Want

Posted: 2017-Jan-23

Every recent legal department operations survey affirms that the legal department’s mission has a strong business slant with an emphasis on leveraging technology, data analytics, process management and procurement techniques to realize greater value from overall legal spend. Legal work is being re-allocated to a more cost-effective mix of lower cost/higher cost providers and/or consolidated with non-legal advisory and technical services offered by a single, far reaching consulting firm like PWC or Deloitte. Traditional law firms are defending a multi-front battle when it comes to preserving a shrinking slice of the legal department’s budget. The upshot for law firms could not be any clearer.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Lessons from the LDO Survey

Posted: 2017-Jan-20

One of the least surprising data points each year is the number of different functions typical LDO professionals engage in: They spend more than 5 percent of their time in over 10 areas. In total, 29 percent of that time is spent on technology, information security, electronic discovery and records management.   Full Story

It’s Time To Change The Law Firm Business Model

Posted: 2017-Jan-20

Every year, statistics on women and minorities in the legal profession are reported. And, every year, these statistics reveal very little change in the number of women and minorities in the ranks of partnership. In response, some firms have adopted policies seemingly designed to encourage diversity and equality. Yet, despite this response, the makeup of law firm leadership largely remains unchanged. In fact, Catalyst estimates “that it will take more than a woman lawyer’s lifetime to achieve equality” with their male counterparts. [Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Lean Startup and Your Next IT Adventure (When Thinking Tech, Start Small)

Posted: 2017-Jan-20

Stop me if you have heard this one. A law department says that it wants to “increase efficiency.” Not really sure what that means, the department leaders decide that it must include moving some things they do manually—or things they don’t do at all—onto a computer system. All agree that computers make things efficient and by using technology, the law department will be perceived by those outside the department as “with it.”   Full Story

Reinventing Professionals: The art of investing in legal technology

Posted: 2017-Jan-20

Ari Kaplan speaks with Krishna Srinivasan, a founding general partner at LiveOak venture partners in Austin, Texas, an early-stage venture capital firm with investments in a variety of companies, including e-discovery review software provider, DISCO.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Attracting And Retaining The Millennial Lawyer

Posted: 2017-Jan-20

With a population of approximately 80 million, the millennial generation (also known as Generation Y) has surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce. In order to ensure that a law firm will be able to successfully recruit and retain these young lawyers, management must bridge the generational divide and understand how to best manage them. The numbers are simply too large to ignore. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials now comprise more than one-third of the U.S. workforce and more than 20 percent of the legal community. By 2025, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the world's workforce. {Law360 paywall]   Full Story

Who are Law Firms Really Competing With and Why?

Posted: 2017-Jan-18

Noting that law firms are competing with clients (given in-sourcing trends), this blog takes a good look at the rise of non-law-firm service providers - in particular the advantages of the Big 4 multidisciplinary teams.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Lagging Is Not an Option: Using Technology to Maximize Law Department Value

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

Management strategies implemented before, during and after implementation can maximize user adoption and ROI.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Cyber Becomes Mainstream: The Lessons Learned for 2017

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

In a year of change, one issue has become so tied to our daily lives that its emergence has been somewhat masked—and that issue is cyber. Just a few short years ago, cyber was seen as an edge issue that impacted technology companies. Now one need only look at the continuing discussion regarding the presidential election and the effect of the alleged interference by state-sponsored threat actors to see that cyber is embedded in our daily lives in a way that many did not imagine. There are a few lessons to be learned from the events of 2016, and these lessons impact us as professionals, as well as citizens.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Machine Learning of Tomorrow: 4 Emerging Legal Tech Arenas for AI

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

Sure you know AI, but do you know where it applies in, say, patents? Here’s where AI will continue to push legal technology this year.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

NIST's Popular Cybersecurity Framework Gets Facelift

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

The National Institute of Standards and Technology on Tuesday floated an update to its widely adopted voluntary cybersecurity framework that would establish a common vocabulary for discussing cyber supply chain risks and set up a way to measure the progress businesses have made in identifying and managing cyberthreats. [Law 360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Contract Management

Understanding How Blockchain Could Impact Legal Industry

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

Decentralized cryptocurrency first appeared in 2009, utilizing a database to keep track of all transactions in a distributed ledger. The ledger has become known as blockchain or “the blockchain” and industries have seen the usefulness of blockchain beyond the purpose for which it was created. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Optimizing your law firm for trust

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

What would a law firm look like if it were optimized for trust? That is to say, if a law firm reordered its priorities and re-engineered its processes so that its activities were bent towards increasing the degree to which its clients completely and implicitly trusted the firm, what would that look like? Jordan Furlong's blog posits that focusing on credibility with clients would lead to transparently tracking outcomes, reliably pricing services, and continuously improving its clients' experience.    Full Story

Spend Management

30 E-Discovery Best Practices from Judges, Attorneys, Law Professors, and Data Experts

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

As David Yerich, Esq., Director of Discovery, UnitedHealth Group, puts it: “E-Discovery Day is about community—everyone reaching out to create education. E-Discovery can be an isolating task, but when you go out in the community and see people with similar goals, it’s really excellent. I’m most grateful today for community.” In the spirit of keeping this sense of community alive, Exterro put together a new e-book, 30 E-Discovery Day Highlights and Best Practices, a quick overview of takeaways from the events on December 1st. Here are a few highlights   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Data Security Not Top Concern For Firm Leaders, Report Finds

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

The danger of data breaches and other technological security issues in the legal industry seems to be implicit given the rising demand for data-driven work and high-profile firm document leaks, but information security is not top of mind among firm leaders, according to a report issued on Wednesday. Specifically, the survey found that nearly half of attorneys considered increasing net profits or attracting new clients as their number one concern, with increasing revenues coming in as the top concern, at about 21 percent. Just more than 8 percent of leading firm attorneys named reducing cybersecurity risk as of utmost importance, coming in just above concern for how to improve workflows, according to the report. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Tech Trends: What to Expect in 2017

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

As cutting-edge technologies become more commonplace in the legal industry, lawyers will have more ways than ever before to streamline and improve day-to-day work processes. Technology will continue to shape and change the legal landscape, making it easier for lawyers to be more mobile, collaborative and responsive.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Smart Digitization: The New Frontier

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

Digitization is driving each of us across all industries to make dramatic changes to how we approach customers, products, services, and the always-on, real-time information rich marketplace. This race to take advantage of the abundance of opportunities created by the connected world could lead to overlooking one key element—Security.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

How to Improve Your Corporate Compliance Program

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

Most firms only began to substantially invest in corporate compliance activities in the past decade or so, and this has led compliance programs to be kept largely separate from most routine business workflows. Although this approach helped compliance professionals build their programs quickly, it has created a largely “bolt-on” system, with compliance activities layered on top of existing processes. Employees are then required to step outside of their daily workflows and make their way through numerous handoffs, processes, and approvals to satisfy compliance controls before they can get on with what they see as the day job.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Evolve Law Launches In-House Counsel Technology Fellowship

Posted: 2017-Jan-17

The four-month Evolve Law Tech Fellowship program will focus on educating in-house counsel around implementing document automation in their legal workflows.   Full Story

Spend Management

Billable hour pricing is effectively dead because of budget caps, report says

Posted: 2017-Jan-14

Most law firms say they use the billable hour model for pricing most of their work, but the reality is different, according to a new report. Largely because of budgets and caps imposed by clients, 80 to 90 percent of law firm work is done outside of the traditional billable hour model, according to the 2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market. The report (PDF) was released by Georgetown Law’s Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute.   Full Story

Spend Management

Peer Monitor Report on the state of the Legal Market 2017

Posted: 2017-Jan-14

The past 10 years have been a period of dramatic change in the market for law firm services. The decade began with the market in a state of near collapse following the onset of the Great Recession at the end of 2007. By 2010, however, the demand for law firm services bounced back to some extent and, since then, has (despite occasional peaks and valleys) remained essentially flat to slightly positive. Although many law firms have been able to maintain some positive growth in both revenues and profits since 2010, that growth has been driven almost entirely by increased rates. With demand growth flat, declining productivity, growth in expenses (albeit at a fairly modest rate), and increasing cost of leverage (as firms have changed the mix of their legal staffs), the only factor that has positively impacted revenue growth has been the ability to raise rates 2 to 3 percent a year. And even that strategy has encountered significant client resistance, as evidenced by steadily declining realization rates. As a result, the overall trend of profit margins across the market has been slightly downward over the entire 10-year period. These financial results have reflected some fundamental shifts in the market that cannot be ignored.   Full Story

Spend Management

Shell Legal – Shadow Billing

Posted: 2017-Jan-14

There is a common belief that companies like Shell that have moved to appropriate fee arrangements (AFAs) should no longer concern themselves with billing data. The diversity imperative belies that belief. Indeed, there are many reasons why Shell will continue to be interested in as much data as is available.   Full Story

These BigLaw firms had the best record for promoting women to partner

Posted: 2017-Jan-14

Three large law firms promoted only women to partnership in 2016. Five law firms promoted only men. Overall, 36.7 percent of the lawyers promoted to partner last year were women, according to partnership announcements at America’s top 100 law firms. Bloomberg Big Law Business did the analysis.   Full Story

These Law Firms Made the Most Women Partners in 2016

Posted: 2017-Jan-14

Partner promotions at law firms come every year, and they traditionally haven’t gotten much attention in the press. But last year, that started to change. After coverage was picked up in Above the Law and Big Law Business, law firms started pitching partner promotion press releases with details touting their diversity profiles. In one email in late November, a Pillsbury public relations specialist pointed our eyes to the fact that six of the firm’s eight new partners are women, later adding that half of its six new office managing partner appointments are women.   Full Story

Contract Management

Blockchain 101 for Lawyers Part 1

Posted: 2017-Jan-14

“The first generation of the digital revolution brought us the Internet of information. The second generation — powered by blockchain technology — is bringing us the Internet of value: a new platform to reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Relocating In-House Lawyers Costs Money and Talent, Experts Say

Posted: 2017-Jan-14

Moving in-house lawyers is a work of higher calculus, said law department consultants. Never does a company just move its legal department. Instead, lawyers are included in larger corporate restructurings and relocations—efforts toward efficiency and smoother operations.   Full Story

Spend Management

Outside Counsel Cost Management: A View Around The Corner

Posted: 2017-Jan-12

It is 2017; time to manage outside counsel spend. Again. You are not alone.Historical pricing practices and market dynamics offer opportunities for additional legal service delivery cost reductions. In this corner of legal department operations, outside counsel management offers a relatively easy target to realize savings…. Peter Krakaur suggests a number of factors that legal departments might consider as they embark on or continue with outside counsel management initiatives….In particular, on operational issues associated with managing outside counsel in the light of all available legal sourcing options.   Full Story

Big Data Gets Bigger: 5 Ways to Employ Legal Analytics

Posted: 2017-Jan-09

Big data is just getting, well, bigger. And while legal technology’s progress has been slow in relation to technology changes in the wider world, legal professionals are increasingly turning to one technique to handle emerging big data challenges of the day. That approach is data analytics—a practice in which data is extracted for categorization and analysis by a variety of techniques and tools. And just as there is a seemingly endless amount of data, there are seemingly endless ways analytics can be applied. Here are some cases where legal professionals are already beginning to employ analytics   Full Story

Contract Management

4 Ways Technology Is Changing Contracts

Posted: 2017-Jan-08

Automation and machine language are driving changes to traditional contract work. The contract hasn't seen much formatting change in recent history, but advancements in automation, natural language processing and data handling technology are driving an evolution to the way it's handled. Here are four ways technology has entered traditional contract work that could change its basic structure (document creation, AI-enabled doc review, dynamic contracts, compliance management).    Full Story

Managing Litigation and Benchmarking Through Big Data

Posted: 2017-Jan-06

Garnering the data to compare a legal department's efforts with others isn't easy, but it's becoming necessary. One way for in-house counsel to do this is to tap their outside law firms, who should have data from similar companies to draw comparisons, as well as technology to more effectively and efficiently manage litigation.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Patent Implications of Using AI in the Global Marketplace

Posted: 2017-Jan-06

International usage can lead to problems through data collection, disclosure and more.   Full Story

Contract Management

Blockchain 101 for the Non-Techie Lawyer

Posted: 2017-Jan-05

While widely heralded as one of the “next big things” in legal technology, blockchain technology and its potential effects remain both widely unknown and misunderstood. Now, as enterprises begin looking at the technology and its place in the legal operations process, in-house attorneys stand to benefit by building a body of knowledge around the technology that will play a part in their futures. To help shed light on this advancement, Legaltech News spoke with two attorneys at the forefront of blockchain development to understand what the technology is, what benefits it offers, and how and when it will effect attorney work product.   Full Story

30-Minute Product Demo – BusyLamp; a Web-based Legal Management Platform (February 6 @1:00 p.m. (EST)) (NEW DATE)

Posted: 2017-Jan-05

The space is shaking up and technology breeds transparency. You’re invited to partake in a discussion and demo to learn about a simple, highly effective e-billing, legal spend and matter management solution. Get a look at the application that helps corporate legal departments in organizations around the world including The New York Times Company, OSRAM or Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and many more. There’s no software installation required and the solution can be operational within a few weeks, including the on-boarding of external law firms. We’ll demonstrate how the technology can help: - Control the risk of budget overruns - Reduce outside legal costs significantly - Keep track of global matters - Demonstrate the value of a legal department - Provide extensive management information and reporting Presented by Dr. Michael Tal, Co-Founder & Co-Chief Executive Officer of BusyLamp    Full Story

The 10 Most Important Legal Technology Developments of 2016

Posted: 2017-Jan-04

What follows are my picks for the year’s most important legal technology developments. As in past years, the numbers are not meant to be rankings — each of these is important in its own way. I also refer you back to my prior years’ posts, as much of what I said in them remains true today.   Full Story

Spend Management

GE Creates ‘Yelp for Lawyers’ to Assess Outside Law Firms

Posted: 2017-Jan-04

General Electric has developed what it’s calling a Yelp for lawyers. An internal website is now available to its approximately 800 in-house lawyers, through which they can search “preferred providers” of outside counsel and learn about their track record with the company. Titled GE Select Connect, more than 200 of the company’s outside law firms maintain profiles (à la Facebook) that feature firm information, including feedback the outside firms have received from GE lawyers, the firm’s diversity staffing levels, hourly rates, and discounts the company has previously achieved.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

2016 Law Department Operations Survey: A Blueprint for Law Departments (AND LAW FIRMS!)

Posted: 2017-Jan-04

For almost a decade, the Blickstein Group’s Annual Law Department Survey has been surfacing KPIs that guide smart decisions by law department leaders. As a sponsor of the 2016 Annual Law Department Survey, we got an early look at the results. The objectives, strategies and tactics of law department leaders are consistent notwithstanding differences in the size and resources of law departments and market fragmentation. Yet again, the Survey results will be tremendously valuable to law department leaders. When I asked Brad Blickstein how many law firms capitalize on the Survey, I was mystified when his response was "Basically none." The Survey may be even MORE valuable FOR LAW FIRMS looking for a competitive edge in today’s tight industry environment. Law departments are sharing their departmental blueprint/game plans and voicing critical information about law department strategy, tactics, concerns, goals, expectations and mindset upon which smart law firms can capitalize.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

4 Legal Department Trends From 2016

Posted: 2017-Jan-04

Despite an improving economy in 2016, CLOs are still minding their outside counsel spend, using more alternative legal service providers and trying to get their legal departments in order. Altman Weil released its 2016 Chief Legal Officer Survey last month, and it’s clear that clients continue to experience significant internal budget pressures and wield their buying power to get the lowest prices from their legal service providers. I’ve outlined four continuing trends below. It is noteworthy that legal departments have in many instances taken matters into their own hands, often leaving their law firms behind.    Full Story

How Law Firms Can Improve Diversity in the Legal Industry

Posted: 2017-Jan-04

The legal industry is one of the least racially diverse professions in America. And even though more women than ever are graduating from law schools, men still dominate the legal practice in terms of pay and partner positions. When it comes to the law, the good old boys' club remains strong. This isn't news. The legal industry has long struggled to address the lack of diversity in its ranks, with mixed results. Here are some ways those efforts can be improved. Are Diversity Initiatives Working? Few People Know    Full Story

Spend Management

Finally, Will 2017 Mean R.I.P. for the Billable Hour?

Posted: 2017-Jan-04

For years—decades, even—there's been a lot of ?talk in the legal press and at conferences about alternative fee arrangements. And yet the billable hour has persisted. Now that legal departments have access to more technology and data than ever before, could 2017 be the year AFAs finally become the new standard? Some industry experts think so. While general counsel have been touting AFAs for ages, many legal departments weren't equipped to embrace them until more recently, says Stasia Kelly, the former general counsel of American International Group Inc. and now DLA Piper's co-managing partner for the Americas.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

5 Ways E-Discovery Will Change in 2017

Posted: 2017-Jan-04

The ever changing and increasingly complex nature of e-discovery – punctuated by a turbulent 2016 which included Brexit, the Panama Papers scandal, and an unpredictable US presidential election cycle – continues to make it difficult for companies to navigate this aspect of the legal landscape. As we head into the New Year, here are five trends that should be on your radar for e-discovery in 2017.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal teams are paying their way

Posted: 2016-Dec-22

The impact of company lawyers is growing as they achieve measurable effects, according to the special report on the FT North America Innovative Lawyers.    Full Story

Spend Management

Why BigLaw Can’t Keep Hiking Fees To Raise Revenue

Posted: 2016-Dec-22

A consistent trend has emerged since the Great Recession in which firms raise rates to drive revenue while demand for their services remains mostly flat, driving clients to bring more work in-house — a cycle experts say law firms need to break in order to thrive. According to a Tuesday report by Citi Private Bank, demand for law firms’ services grew by a mere 0.5 percent during the first nine months of 2016, while revenue spiked 3.7 percent, driven largely by lawyer rate increases — results the bank characterized as “typical annual performance of the law firm industry in these post-recession years.” [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

4 Legaltech Shifts to Watch for in 2017

Posted: 2016-Dec-22

A look at four technology forces set to change the dynamics and define the future of the legal market. Of course, our ears are ringing with terms such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and interoperability. However, get ready for a fourth buzzword: recombinant technology. Each of the first three listed disrupters are in themselves alone sufficient to evoke significant change in the legal services industry. However, the fourth concept of smart technology working in combination will be the game changer. Let's take them each in turn.   Full Story

Corporate Clients and Large Law Firms Are Rational

Posted: 2016-Dec-22

As that portion of the legal industry focused on corporations goes through another end of year cycle, it is tempting to say, as I and others have done, that the “large corporate law market” operates outside the normal principles of economics. How can it be that large law firms, facing lower demand for services, keep making more money? In this essay, I take on a thought experiment: are there plausible and rational explanations behind what we see happening in the large corporate law market?   Full Story

ACC Legal Ops Observer - December Issue - Advanced Outside Counsel Management & More

Posted: 2016-Dec-21

In this issue we profile BMO's standout outside counsel management program, which includes use of innovative, custom RFI and law firm selection tools that hone in on the attributes that provide value for the bank and facilitate objective selection. Value-adds and value-enablement are key factors in selection, and this installment of the "Unless You Ask" series provides a step-by-step approach to eliciting specific, measurable information in the value-enablement services that law firms provide, which in turn facilitates continuous improvement. We also provide a readout from some of the sessions at the ACC Annual Meeting focusing on legal operations, and a roundup of activities on the ACC Legal Ops section, plus some suggestions of ways to get involved.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Billable Hour Just Won't Die, Report Finds

Posted: 2016-Dec-21

The report also reveals that the law department operations (LDO) role is alive and well in legal departments and that LDO professionals are achieving a higher degree of responsibility, with 59 percent of the respondents reporting directly to the general counsel or chief legal officer—up from 50 percent last year. Another 17 percent report to the deputy, associate or assistant general counsel.    Full Story

Contract Management

How BT Manages Contracts: Provision Extraction with AI (live IACCM event)

Posted: 2016-Dec-21

The session Contracts and Big Data Analytics is the opening for a DC-area IACCM contract management event; it covers how BT manages contracts and extracts provisions with AI.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Six Things Legal Professionals Could Care [More/Less] About

Posted: 2016-Dec-20

The year comes to a close. Legal professionals in law firms and departments sprint to complete 2016, securing (or deferring) payments, negotiating last minute discounts, finalizing budgets, socializing strategies for the new year, and, hopefully, taking quality time with family. Rather than wait for January to consider resolutions, I share the following thoughts for the new year. Reflections on value, purple people, (right)sourcing, change management, checklists, and Artificial Big Block Data Machines.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

3 Technologies Set to Modernize Corporate Legal Departments in 2017

Posted: 2016-Dec-20

Don't know exactly what artificial intelligence, blockchain and compliance technology are? That's OK, here's a quick explainer to show how they could help.   Full Story

Spend Management

BigLaw Fails To Bend To GC Billing Needs, Survey Says

Posted: 2016-Dec-20

Corporate legal departments in 2016 had little faith in law firms to be change agents and drivers of innovation in a climate where departments are increasingly seeking cost-effective alternative fee arrangements, according to results of a survey recently published by Blickstein Group. [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

Contract Management

The Future of Contracts; Automation, Blockchain and Smart Contracts

Posted: 2016-Dec-14

In-house counsel are constantly under pressure to do more with less. For attorneys executing contracts, simple agreements like NDAs can require hours of manual supervision. However, by automating your work experience and implementing smart contract technology, in-house counsel can streamline this burdensome legal practice, saving both time and money. Just as the PDF permanently changed how we circulate information, automation ail forever change the way legal teams capture contractual data and execute agreements.    Full Story

Legal Tech Download: BigLaw Analytics And AI Investments

Posted: 2016-Dec-14

The world of legal technology is quickly evolving as new products aimed at aiding lawyers are created and launched in rapid succession, leaving law firms to sift through a mountain of information about the latest, greatest gadgets claiming to make their lives easier. Here, Law360 takes a look at six of the biggest legal tech-related news developments over the past three weeks, including LexisNexis’ launch of a new legal technology accelerator, Dentons’ Nextlaw Lab’s investment in a Canadian AI contract review company, and the unveiling of Jackson Lewis’ new data analytics group. [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

The Horrible Conflict Between Biology And Women Attorneys

Posted: 2016-Dec-14

The top two reasons attorneys leave their law firms are: 1) unsustainable billable hours and work/life considerations, and 2) a limiting culture. The following encompasses the overarching, gender-specific reasons that women leave private practice, and is in no way intended to discuss the details and nuances of implicit bias, individual career goals and preferences, or practice areas. It is intended as a 30,000-foot view of why women leave law firms, from a generationally informed millennial perspective. [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

Corporate America Pressures Law Firms to Promote Minorities

Posted: 2016-Dec-14

What does diversity mean in the age of a Donald Trump presidency? Even as the U.S. and the globe become increasingly diverse, the president-elect’s cabinet appointments have so far been strong on billionaires and white men and weak on women and blacks. While Corporate America still gets low marks for opening its boardrooms and corner offices to women and minorities, many companies are trying to do better. One recent effort is the work corporate legal departments are doing to encourage outside law firms they work with closely to promote more of their high-performing women and minorities.   Full Story

Answering the Call for Diversity in the Legal Profession (Perspective)

Posted: 2016-Dec-14

In recent years, the industry has begun to acknowledge this pervasive gap with discussions about ways to bring more diversity into firms and in-house teams. But to turn talk into action, leadership must start prioritizing diversity and inclusion. Reinforcing these priorities will help them trickle down to the rest of the team. Below are five steps that partners and general counsel can take to build more diversity and create a firm or in-house team more inclusive to all attorneys.   Full Story

Contract Management

Intelligent Contracts—Is This the Way Forward for Enterprises?

Posted: 2016-Dec-14

Blockchains can be used for more than just bitcoin, but limitations on smart contracts mean they may not deliver all that is promised.   Full Story

ACC Joins $3.8M Fight Over Sheppard Mullin Conflict Waiver

Posted: 2016-Dec-09

The Association of Corporate Counsel has joined a host of companies in their support of J-M Manufacturing as it opposes Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP’s appeal of a $3.8 million fee forfeiture order at the California Supreme Court, agreeing that the firm’s “open-ended” advance conflict waiver should remain invalid. [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

Artificial Intelligence: Helping Lawyers More Than You Know

Posted: 2016-Dec-07

Here are four ways AI is already helping you be efficient in your everyday activities.   Full Story

Neota v. Seal v. ROSS: Cases From an Artificial Intelligence 'Shark Tank' Session

Posted: 2016-Dec-07

In demonstrating the ways in which AI—or, more candidly speaking, automation—technology is already impacting law, the Cowen Group held a "Shark Tank" breakfast presentation for leaders representing law firms. Here, representatives from three different vendors touting AI technologies for the modern lawyer took the stage with a simple pitch: The technology can cut costs and save, and here's how. From the audience and moderators came questions, criticisms and insights in an effort to separate fluff from fact.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Establishing a Plan to Mitigate Risk with Information Governance

Posted: 2016-Dec-07

Important steps for getting started in developing an IG program along with useful tips for increasing long-term success to mitigate risk for the organization.   Full Story

36 Law Firms Pilot Ideas to Resolve Gender Divide

Posted: 2016-Dec-07

hirty six law firms have signed on to implement and pilot ideas generated by the Women In Law Hackathon, a June event at Stanford Law School in which teams of lawyers pitched ideas to increase gender parity in their workplaces. The ideas include an app to track lawyers’ progress on the partnership track, a data-based compensation tool, a gender-neutral reporting and evaluation system, and the so-called “Mansfield Rule,” which, much like the National Football League’s Rooney Rule, would require firms to interview a certain number of qualified women for leadership positions.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Law Departments and After-Action Reviews: Using lessons learned to improve outcomes

Posted: 2016-Dec-07

The discipline of project management grounds virtually every activity conducted by a business. In turn, Legal Project Management (LPM) has been shown to be a practice that improves the management and economics of the law department and its responsiveness to its business clients. LPM calls for scoping work, a kick-off meeting, budgeting, planning, monitoring and communicating across the legal team and with the client. Each of these steps is intended to achieve specific outcomes. The last step in the LPM framework, the After-Action Review (“AAR”), reveals how well the legal team achieved those outcomes. An after-action review of a matter can be conducted regardless of whether the legal project management framework was in place to guide the actual matter. In fact, it’s a good way to “test” the hypothesis that LPM is actually relevant and useful.    Full Story

Understanding How Analytics and Linear Review Can Coexist

Posted: 2016-Dec-06

The vast majority of legal teams are not implementing analytical tools in a way that can truly make a difference to alleviating their overall e-discovery burdens and growing expenses.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Salaries Rise for Early Career In-House Counsel, Report Finds

Posted: 2016-Dec-06

Pay is going up for most in-house counsel in the United States, including recent graduates, according to a recent survey from American Lawyer Media Legal Intelligence. The 2016 ALM Legal Intelligence Law Department Compensation Benchmarking Survey includes compensation information for 3,865 lawyers across 70 employers in the United States. The survey looks at salaries and bonuses, but not stock options and stock grants.   Full Story

BigLaw Sets The Bar For LGBT Equality Policies

Posted: 2016-Dec-06

BigLaw is leading the rest of the corporate world in terms of creating workplaces that are friendly to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers, according to a report released Monday. Of the 200 largest law firms in the U.S. by revenue, 112 scored a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2017 Corporate Equality Index, which rates businesses based on their workplace equality policies for LGBT workers. The legal industry had a big lead in front of the next highest-scoring industry, banking and financial services, which netted 69 top scores, according to the report. [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

Spend Management

Many Large Companies Are Slashing Legal Budgets, Study Finds

Posted: 2016-Dec-05

Did your legal department feel pressure to reduce spending in 2016? If so, you're far from alone, according to a report released by the consultancy CEB Global. The State of the Legal Function Preview Report is based on survey responses from legal executives at large companies. Just 47 percent of respondents said their legal departments saw an increase in funding in 2016. Forty-three percent reported a decrease in funding, and 10 percent said that their spending did not change in 2016.   Full Story

Spend Management

Shell Legal – Reverse Rate Auctions and the Durable Billable Hour

Posted: 2016-Dec-03

Shell subscribes to the premise that AFAs are superior and preferable to the billable hour in almost all circumstances while continuing to appreciate that ‘effort’ is worth incentivizing. This is not lip service. Essentially all new Shell legal matters, in all areas of law, are structured as AFAs. Indeed, one of the authors was originally hired at Shell in order to oversee the transition to AFAs, as well as the enabling adoption of matter management and process improvement. Given Shell’s institutional commitment to AFAs, it often comes as a surprise that a reverse billing-rate auction was a key step in Shell’s panel review. There are two important reasons for this.   Full Story

Man Vs. Machine: Or, Lawyers Vs. Legal Technology

Posted: 2016-Dec-02

The plunge taken by big law firms — likely to be followed by many others — is representative of a larger shift in the legal landscape that is looking for efficient ways to cut costs, including big law billable hours, long-considered the linchpin of the lucrative big law legal model. Despite the kneejerk reaction of the industry to see this as cause for alarm, these legal technologies, and their increasing presence in big law practices, do not necessarily portend the demise of our profession. In fact, such technologies may liberate attorneys to spend more of their time doing the legal reasoning and analysis that they were trained to do, allowing more work to be reviewed in a shorter amount of time and freeing up staff.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Ten Things: How to Plan a Legal Department Offsite

Posted: 2016-Dec-02

A common tool used by businesses to develop strategy, refine plans, set goals, energize the team, enhance teamwork and cooperation is the offsite, i.e., where a group in the business goes “off site” to meet as a team for one or several days in remote location. Some offsites can be elaborate affairs involving hundreds of people at a 5-star resort with “name” guest speakers and entertainment. Others are small – just a conference room at a local hotel with a handful of executives and some white boards. Successful offsites of any size have one thing in common: they require a lot of planning to pull off.   Full Story

Spend Management

Comp on the Client Side: Living in a Glass House

Posted: 2016-Dec-02

The billable hour has been trashed repeatedly over how it motivates bad behavior in law firms. The reasoning goes that rewarding hours billed motivates lawyers (associates and partners) to spend more time on tasks than necessary, resulting in inefficiencies. My personal opinion is that rewarding hard work is not the problem, but instead poor management over the efforts of workers is the real problem.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

In-House Lawyers Want New Tech but Can't Get the Funding

Posted: 2016-Dec-02

A report from law firm Eversheds and market researcher Winmark Ltd found 64 percent of in-house counsel cite budget as a barrier to technology.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Cybersecurity Reporting: A Backgrounder

Posted: 2016-Dec-01

In recognition of the needs of management and boards of directors of diverse organizations, and for the benefit of the public interest, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is proposing a reporting framework through which organizations can communicate pertinent information regarding their cybersecurity risk-management efforts to meet the cybersecurity information needs of a broad range of stakeholders. This proposed framework is being shared with interested parties through focus groups and exposure drafts to obtain feedback and insight to ensure that it will result in decision-useful information on cybersecurity risk management   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Want Respect From the Business-Side? Focus on Fees, Report Says

Posted: 2016-Dec-01

Because of an interconnected web between budgeting and "value"—as defined by a company's executives and managers—increased alternative billing could bolster a legal department's importance and leverage, the report says. ?The theory goes like this: Companies appreciate it most when its legal departments stay in budget and companies that use alternative billing have a greater than 90 percent chance at doing just that, the report says. Further, when departments stay in budget, executives are more likely to view in-house lawyers as partners, consulting them on legal risks, business issues and organization. More communication, more responsibility, the report says.   Full Story

Spend Management

You’re not selling what we’re buying

Posted: 2016-Dec-01

Just because law firms aren’t getting as much work as they used to, that doesn’t mean there’s less work to be gotten. Corporate clients are actually spending more money; they’re just not spending it on law firms. So if law departments do have money and they’re not giving it to law firms, where is it going? What has become increasingly clear throughout 2016 is that corporate clients are chanelling their legal spend in multiple non-firm directions.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Alternative Fee Arrangements Help GCs Prove Their Value Share us on:

Posted: 2016-Dec-01

Law departments that use alternative fee arrangements are more likely to hit their budgets, and law departments that hit their budgets are much more likely to win a seat at the table with business leaders, according to a survey of general counsel and chief legal officers. The Association of Corporate Counsel 2016 Law Department Management Report found that the ability of a corporate legal department to demonstrate its value is fundamentally linked to the likelihood that the company’s general counsel or CLO will assume a role in the company that goes beyond the strictly legal and instead propels them into a broader strategic role with greater responsibilities and a higher profile. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

www.biglawbusiness.com Diversity and Inclusion: Annual Report

Posted: 2016-Nov-28

In law firms and in corporate legal departments, leaders often look to diversity initiatives as a tool to help them retain employees and gain clients in a competitive industry. Yet while there is general agreement among legal professionals that promoting diversity and inclusion is not just “the right thing to do” but also a sound growth strategy, the results of Bloomberg Big Law Business survey suggest that they may doubt whether their own firms or departments are up to the task. The results also reveal a lack of alignment between law firm attorneys and corporate attorneys on the perceived importance of diversity and inclusion in law firms. But despite these challenges, survey respondents also provided strategic insight on best practices to get diversity and inclusion efforts up and running.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Top 10 Cybersecurity Controls To Consider When Vetting Outside Counsel

Posted: 2016-Nov-28

One way to evaluate a law firm's security is to apply Critical Security Controls (CIS Top 20 Controls). These are established by the Center for Internet Security (CIS) and they offer a valuable guide used globally to prevent and respond to cyber incidents. With these controls in mind, let's examine which of the top CIS controls companies should consider when evaluating outside counsel's cybersecurity framework.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Beyond Bean Counting: How Legal Can Add True Value

Posted: 2016-Nov-21

The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic. —Peter Drucker. There's no shortage of advice for in-house legal directors looking to "add value" by containing costs — doing more with less. A search query of the subject on Google generates over 37 million hits in just 470 milliseconds. Three approaches consistently dominate discussion: (1) invest in talent; (2) invest in technology; and (3) become a revenue generator. These plays are in everyone's game plan.[Law360 - Subscription required]   Full Story

Legal Tech Download: On-Demand Lawyers & Immigration AI

Posted: 2016-Nov-21

The world of legal technology is quickly evolving as new products aimed at aiding lawyers are created and launched in rapid succession, leaving law firms to sift through a mountain of information about the latest, greatest gadgets claiming to make their lives easier. Here, Law360 takes a look at nine of the biggest legal tech-related news developments over the past two weeks, including a foray by Dentons' NextLaw Labs into the world of on-demand lawyer technology with Hire an Esquire, the launch of a new artificial intelligence tool with U.S. immigration law know-how dubbed Visabot, and a new partnership that offers up a digital dictation tool allowing attorneys to work outside the office.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Law's Challenges Are Global. A Broader Perspective Would Help Solve Them.

Posted: 2016-Nov-21

I recently had a long conversation with Iohann Le Frapper, a French lawyer and Board Chair of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). We identified several common challenges confronting lawyers — legal education and new skill sets, access to justice, technology and globalization yielding automation and labor arbitrage, the ‘gig economy,’ ethical challenges, and new models of legal delivery. These issues transcend geography or regulations. They are global challenges whose solution demands a broader perspective.   Full Story

Spend Management

Shell Legal – Reverse Rate Auctions and the Durable Billable Hour

Posted: 2016-Nov-21

H ypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. While it’s not quite hypocrisy, there have been several decades of more talk than action on appropriate fee arrangements (AFA), let alone the attendant analysis of the relationship between inputs, outputs, and value. The death of the billable hour keeps being reported. Yet the actual data — some of which indicates that the percentage of total corporate spend on AFAs remains in the single digits — borders on suggesting that the billable hour is immortal. Even where the billable hour has receded somewhat, the underlying compensation models and the associated behavior often remain. The durability of the billable hour, coupled with a law firm’s embedded expectation to see gains in collected hours year over year (with target calculations as rudimentary as previous year plus some arbitrary percentage), only increases the disdain in which the current system is held.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Partner or Protector? How Inside Counsel Can Get to ‘Yes’ (Perspective)

Posted: 2016-Nov-17

Why do many attorneys say “no” more than “yes”? Usually, because they are risk-averse. They see their job as protecting the company from litigation, and “no” as a security blanket that will protect them and the company from any and all risk. But a great inside counsel understands that risk is sometimes worth the potential reward, and that rather than eliminating risk, their job is to find creative ways to minimize it. That means learning not just to say “no,” but when and how to say “yes.”   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

GCs Play Big Role in Handling Data Breach Compliance, Survey Finds

Posted: 2016-Nov-17

An increasing number of companies view the general counsel as the go-to person for handling compliance issues arising from a data breach, according to a recently released survey from insurance analytics company Advisen and insurer Zurich North America. The market for cybersecurity insurance is maturing. The survey found that about 65 percent of companies have purchased security and privacy insurance. While that's a 7 percent increase over the results of the 2015 survey, growth appears to be slowing compared to past years.   Full Story

Microsoft: Our Law Firm Diversity Push Is Working

Posted: 2016-Nov-16

Microsoft Corp. says it's already seeing benefits from its revamped outside counsel diversity program, which seeks to increase minority representation in law firm leadership and overall partner makeup.   Full Story

Spend Management

The Intractable Hourly Rate (Perspective)

Posted: 2016-Nov-14

The billable hour would make a fascinating case study for a textbook on behavioral economics. It persists despite decades of criticism and a Great Recession that has put significant power in the hands of clients who, at least in theory, have the greatest ability and motivation to force change. So, why haven’t clients like GE wielded their power to greater effect? One reason is that both clients and law firms evaluate the benefits and costs of AFAs by comparing them to the fees that would have been generated under hourly billing.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Client Data Security Obligations Begin With the Law Firm

Posted: 2016-Nov-14

Data breaches have ethical implications as well as the risk of loss to the client and damage to the firm's reputation. Cybersecurity begins with a top-down strategy, but the culture of security must include each and every person in the firm and its consultants and vendors. Indeed, the need for firmwide cultural alignment around data security is no different from the climate within the corporate clients that we represent. Lawyers must be cybersecurity leaders if we are to change the evolving dynamic of the ever-increasing number and scale of incidents.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

GCs Let Law Firms Off Easy On Data Security: Survey

Posted: 2016-Nov-14

Most corporate legal departments don’t bother asking their most-used firms to adopt any particular data security measures, and only a few have shifted work away from a firm because of security concerns, according to a survey.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

SURVEY - Is Prevention the Next Important Step in Law Department Development Evolution?

Posted: 2016-Nov-10

Even though prevention is an essential tool, there is scant data on whether law departments actually focus on prevention, and if they are, how so. So, we’ve created a short survey we are asking people inside companies (not limited to just lawyers) to take to enlighten us. We know your time is valuable – it should not take more than 3-5 minutes to complete. We will blog about the responses every few weeks.   Full Story

Now Accepting Nominations - ACC Value Champions

Posted: 2016-Nov-08

If you have lead initiatives to cut costs, improve predictability or achieve better outcomes, submit a nomination to be named a 2017 ACC Value Champion. Celebrate your team's accomplishments and share your management tactics so that others can follow your lead and drive value for clients.    Full Story

Virtual Roundtable - Beyond Metrics; Tactics to Encourage & Support Law Firm Diversity & Inclusion - 8 December 2pm EST

Posted: 2016-Nov-07

Following the virtual roundtable the Metrics group hosted on the Model Diversity Survey, the External Resources Management group is hosting a virtual roundtable on management tactics to support and encourage diversity and inclusion in law firms. We look forward to a robust discussion about this important topic, sharing what works, what's been tried and discarded, and perhaps brainstorming on some new ways to make a difference. To participate,email LawDepartmentOps@ACC.com, and let us know if your department has initiatives to support diversity that you will share.   Full Story

Harvard Study: On Gender and Origination in the Legal Profession (Perspective)

Posted: 2016-Nov-04

Until now, we have relied mostly on interviews, self-reported surveys, and anecdotal evidence about the root causes of the inequitable distribution of origination credits in so many firms. Those who are invested in the status quo point to the potential subjectivity in such data sources as a way to discredit the findings. Even those who are keen to change the system are often at a loss about how to affect change. My empirical research at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession gives some new insights into the foundation of this problem and some possible ways forward.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Four Lessons Lawyers Can Learn from Software Developers

Posted: 2016-Nov-04

While many may not realize it, lawyers could learn a great deal by examining how software developers work and solve problems. A few years ago, I spent every day with outstanding lawyers while practicing at a large firm. It was a great experience that eventually led me to the world of legal technology. Now I work every day with incredibly talented software developers. Reflecting on this transition, I have come to realize that for all the differences between lawyers and developers, profound similarities exist.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

In-House Legal Budgets And Compensation: Survey Says….

Posted: 2016-Nov-04

A major theme at the recent annual meeting of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) was how in-house lawyers can do more with less. This is not a luxury but a necessity, in an age of static or even shrinking legal budgets. A survey just released by HBR Consulting captures the challenges faced by corporate legal departments.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Law Departments: Staffing

Posted: 2016-Nov-03

I suggested in a previous article* that AI solutions will continue to impact the way in-house teams deliver legal services. Here, I suggest certain talent and staffing actions to help teams explore AI and enhance legal service delivery. Specifically, in-house teams should consider additional skill sets when creating positions and making hiring decisions. Additionally, these teams should plan for a broader range of staffing options beyond the current mix of direct hires, contractors, LPOs, and law firms. Now is the time to experiment and learn.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Ostrich Alert: Are Law Departments Ignoring the Cybersecurity Threat?

Posted: 2016-Nov-03

Last year’s ALM Intelligence report on cybersecurity and corporate counsel concluded that “legal departments can and should be playing a more strategic and proactive role in cybersecurity programs and processes.” Since then, much has changed. First, cyber breaches have accelerated in frequency and severity. As laid out in this year’s ALM Intelligence report, Cybersecurity and Law Firms: Defeating Hackers, Winning Clients, ALM Intelligence forecasts that data breaches across all industry sectors will near 1,000 in 2016, an 18% increase from 2015.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

New Report: Cybersecurity and Law Firms - Defeating Hackers, Winning Clients

Posted: 2016-Nov-03

Cybersecurity is a double-edged sword for law firms. Vulnerabilities in firms’ internal data security present an unprecedented existential threat, while increasing corporate demand for legal expertise in information security, compliance and incident response provides an emerging revenue growth opportunity. Primarily drawing on the results of the second annual ALM Intelligence Law Firm Cybersecurity Survey, this report consists of two parts: Threat and Opportunity.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Departments Are Decreasing Outside Counsel Spend, Study Finds

Posted: 2016-Nov-03

Lauren Chung, HBR managing director and survey editor, said in a statement that general counsel are "investing in new technology to increase the automation of routine tasks, enhance work processes and support data analytics that allow improved decision-making on outside counsel fee arrangements. All of these efforts are having a direct impact on legal spending and operational effectiveness." In addition, 47 percent of companies reported increasing the total number of in-house lawyers.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

How Data Growth Complicates Compliance

Posted: 2016-Nov-03

A new report from Archive 360 and Osterman Research, Best Practices for eDiscovery and Regulatory Compliance in Office 365, offers insight into this space—along with the growing use of Office 365 to manage the task. According to the report, data growth is at the heart of the challenge. It's surging at an annual rate of about 18 percent and there's no end in sight. Further complicating things, much of this data is unstructured. In some cases, this "dark data" streaming in from e-mail, social media, wikis, blogs and SMS/text messages becomes invisible and, as a result, inaccessible. - See more at: http://www.cioinsight.com/blogs/how-data-growth-complicates-compliance.html?utm_campaign=LexConnectVol3No12&utm_medium=email&utm_source=InHouseandPartnersEurope#sthash.AzczLc6a.dpuf   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Everything You Need to Know About The New FRCP Amendments

Posted: 2016-Nov-03

Although the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure regarding eDiscovery have been in place in the US for nearly a year, many lawyers are still not familiar with their importance. Here is an overview of the most significant changes and what you need to know.”   Full Story

Spend Management

GCs Box Out Firms As Legal Spending Levels Out

Posted: 2016-Nov-02

As demand for legal services stays relatively flat, corporate legal departments are bringing more work in-house and reducing their reliance on outside law firms, a survey released Tuesday found. Total legal spending increased by a modest 1 percent over the past year among 276 corporate global law departments surveyed by HBR Consulting for its 2016 survey, while those same departments’ spending on outside counsel decreased by 2 percent, HBR said in a statement. The same trend was identified by a survey released in September by BTI Consulting Group, which found that general counsel have shifted a staggering $4 billion in legal spending back in-house so far this year. And in May a study by LexisNexis CounselLink found that only 44 percent of legal departments engaged a new firm last year. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Spend Management

Adapt Or Die: Law Firms In Tomorrow's Economy

Posted: 2016-Nov-02

In part 1 of this series, we discussed the history of the adversarial relationship between corporate clients and their outside law firms and how new roles such as chief technology officer are changing the power dynamic in some corporations. Here we take a look at the fate of the billable hour. The problem with the billable hour is not just that the rates associated with that measure have risen steadily, outpacing inflation, for the last 40 years. The problem is not just that it encourages inefficiency — like paying a kid to pull weeds in your yard by the hour rather than by the job. The problem is not just that it rewards quantity over quality. No, the essential problem with the billable hour as it relates to corporate clients (who account for a majority of BigLaw’s revenue) is that it is disconnected from the value of services rendered. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Law Departments Continue the Journey Toward Operational Excellence, According to HBR Consulting LLC in Annual Survey Released Today

Posted: 2016-Nov-01

HBR Consulting’s Benchmarking Survey Finds Law Departments Are Effectively Managing Costs Despite Increased Legal Demand   Full Story

Artificial Intelligence: Imagining the Possibilities in Litigation (Perspective)

Posted: 2016-Oct-28

Recent headlines about Artificial Intelligence (AI) flooding legal press in recent months with accompanying images of human-like robotic associates have many lawyers asking: will AI really take our jobs? And the follow up: can Siri or Alexa help me quickly research basic legal principles? My short answers are currently “no,” and “not quite yet.” The answer to the former is not likely to change; the answer to the latter is subject to change at any moment   Full Story

Corporate America's Collaborative Actions to Increase Diversity in Law Firms

Posted: 2016-Oct-28

For years, the legal world has shied away from diversity, falling behind the inclusion rates of other professions. By implementing newly created disclosure techniques, leaders in corporate America can take advantage of the untapped potential in the room and drive change from top to bottom. The legal profession centers itself on ethics and equality under the law. It's time to put the money where diversity is found.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal ops making inroads in-house

Posted: 2016-Oct-28

Scott Morgan is one of a few “legal ops” professionals working in-house in Canada these days, but expect to see more like him as larger corporate legal teams realize the value someone with a financial background can bring to managing a legal team.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Pros Are The Most Stressed, Happiness Survey Finds

Posted: 2016-Oct-28

Legal professionals report the highest level of stress among professional industries in a new report from Robert Half studying happiness and stress levels among about 12,000 U.S. and Canadian workers. “It’s Time We All Work Happy: The Secrets of the Happiest Companies and Employees” examined the happiest and unhappiest cohorts of workers grouped by field, gender, company size and other factors. The goal was to drill into what really matters to workers, examine the link between happiness and performance, and explore what employers can do to increase employee satisfaction. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Spend Management

Raising the Bar for Law Firms: How to Move Outside Counsel into Integrating and Delivering Managed Services – ACC Panel

Posted: 2016-Oct-27

At the Association of Corporate Counsel annual meeting, a panel discussed how law firms are working with and engaging in these various practices and meeting legal departments’ requirements to perform along the lines of a managed services provider. The panel noted right away that there is an aim for deeper engagement, better pricing, more expert advice and full integration from their firms. There also was excitement expressed that law firms were adding business professionals throughout their firms to better meet the needs of the client.   Full Story

Denton's Nextlaw Invests in Qualmet in Effort to Measure Legal Service Quality

Posted: 2016-Oct-27

Adding yet another startup to its portfolio, global law firm Dentons' legal tech incubator Nextlaw Labs recently announced an investment in qualitative metrics startup Qualmet. The investment underscores industry demand to measure the business value of legal services.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

http://www.insidecounsel.com/2016/01/01/dont-let-the-big-goal-be-the-enemy?eNL=580f672b140ba0e61617f55f&utm_source=IC_Scoop&utm_medium=EMC-Email_editorial&utm_campaign=10252016

Posted: 2016-Oct-27

As legal departments operate as a business more and more, they have to adopt a policy of continual improvement.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The 'Legal Ops' Trend Is Real, Survey Finds

Posted: 2016-Oct-24

Big companies are increasingly hiring legal department operations (LDO) professionals, allowing in-house attorneys to focus on more substantive legal work, according to data collected by Thomson Reuters. The "Thomson Reuters 2016 Legal Department In-Sourcing and Efficiency Report," which looks at feedback from 429 attorneys and operational professionals working in corporate legal departments, reveals that not much has changed for legal departments when compared to last year. They are still expected to do more with less while also trying to demonstrate their value to the company.   Full Story

Artificial Intelligence May Help Predict Case Outcomes: Study

Posted: 2016-Oct-24

Whether jurists will be replaced by robots and how artificial intelligence will alter the legal industry in the long run is yet to be seen, but a study released Monday indicates that machines may be able to predict the outcome of court proceedings with more accuracy than pure chance. Rather than hypothesizing that AI predictive abilities will replace humans in the courts, researchers at the University College London, the University of Sheffield and the University of Pennsylvania say the technology is more likely to be used as a tool to assist human lawyers and judges.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Getting Lean and Mean: Transforming Legal Operations – ACC 2016 Panel

Posted: 2016-Oct-23

Legal departments are transforming through technology, implementing best practices and continually analyzing the work being performed by lawyers, paralegals and support staff, as well as by their outside counsel. At the 2016 Association of Corporate Counsel annual meeting, a panel titled “Getting Lean and Mean: Transforming Legal Operations” discussed some methods, tactics and strategies legal departments could explore to advance their operations.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

A Guide to Four Technologies Disrupting Legal Tech

Posted: 2016-Oct-23

Guiding legal technology’s transition from esoteric to standard are four technologies: blockchain, machine learning, the cloud, and analytics.   Full Story

Mind the Machines: Time to Explore the Potential of Machine Learning

Posted: 2016-Oct-23

Why should law firms explore machine-learning software? Law firms should use machine learning software so that they can provide better service to their clients and so that they can make more money. They can serve their clients better because they can forecast and categorize legal fees or tasks. They can make more money because they can sell more work or handle existing work more efficiently. To explain this potential, we will address law firm data, the specialized computer programs that manipulate data, and the output models they generate. (This article refers to law firms but its key points have nearly equal applicability to large law departments.)   Full Story

Will AI Rush in a ‘Skills Renaissance’ in Law?

Posted: 2016-Oct-23

There’s a technology revolution underway in law. This week's AI roundup explores, what does the future hold for the lawyer?   Full Story

4 Ways to Reduce the Legal Industry’s Gender Divide

Posted: 2016-Oct-23

Two reports over the past week have pointed attention to the legal industry’s gender parity problem. First, a report from Major Lindsey & Africa that surveyed more than 2,100 law partners showed a 44 percent pay gap between men and women. Then, the New York City Bar Association released data from 75 law firms that illustrated lackluster progress on the gender divide: In 2015, women made up 19.7 percent of those firms partners, up only slightly from 19.4 percent in 2014. In the face of such glacial progress on achieving gender parity in the legal profession, the event was held to discuss problems that impede the development and promotion of women to senior positions and next steps that law firms can implement to move forward.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Departments Have Leg Up on Firms in Closing Gender Pay Gap

Posted: 2016-Oct-23

A $4 million settlement this year between a group of female in-house claims litigators and Farmers Group Insurance served to highlight that gender pay inequity—and court actions to challenge it—are increasingly found among the upper echelons of Corporate America. While in-house legal departments are not immune from pay inequity problems, they may be far better poised than their law firm counterparts to address the problem by analyzing pay data and making adjustments where gender inequities arise.   Full Story

New Study from Major, Lindsey & Africa Shows Major Gains in Compensation for U.S. Law Firm Partners

Posted: 2016-Oct-23

Partner compensation is dependent on a number of variables, including revenue generation, lateral status, tenure and geographic location. While these differences all weigh into the individual compensation of each law firm partner, generally both equity and non-equity partners across the United States have seen significant gains in compensation since 2014, according to Major, Lindsey & Africa’s 2016 Partner Compensation Survey. The Survey, based on the responses of more than 2,100 law firm partners in the United States, showed their average compensation hitting $877,000, an increase of 22% since the firm’s 2014 Survey. The data continued to show stark differences in compensation based on a wide range of variables, including gender, geography and equity.    Full Story

Comment: Why clients are the biggest threat to premier law firms

Posted: 2016-Oct-14

Certainly the going has been more challenging since the banking crisis for all sections of the legal industry, whether you are betting on 'flight-to-quality' or 'more-for-less', but overall the Global 100 looks no nearer to an existential threat or much meaningful consolidation. AI? The accountants? New Law providers? The former reflects a genuine force set to substantially change the industry, though it is not apparent whether that will come at the expense of high-end law firms. The latter two players have yet to come near to living up to the fanfare made for them. The irony is that if there is a current threat to high-end law firms it comes from those paying the bills, the clients.   Full Story

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Law Departments: Opportunities

Posted: 2016-Oct-07

AI is a term du jour in the legal industry, a favored sibling of “big data” and “analytics.”*[fn1] Given the daily pressures to support the business, in-house legal professionals may find the term more artificial and less intelligible than an e-mail seeking legal guidance, a draft agreement for review, or an electronic signature request. Although AI may become that synthetic sinecure that will change your practice tomorrow, it may be unclear how AI can help you work with your business partners today. Assuming the singularity will not occur until 2045,*[fn2] one might think that the landscape still has time to mature. Don’t wait. AI is actively changing the way in-house professionals work, offering opportunities to deliver immediate value.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Leveraging Law Department Metrics to Become the Department of Go

Posted: 2016-Oct-07

The "Cheat Sheet." Keep It Consistent: standardization in contract management can lead to increased productivity. Watch the Fight: By keeping extensive records of litigation processes, you can gain important information and lower the average resolution cost. Quality of Quantity: Extrapolating the quality of a company's IP assets is an essential step in increasing efficiency and revenue. Road to Improvement: TE Connectivity's "Operating Advantage" provides a framework that makes corporate processes lean, efficient, and continuously improving.    Full Story

Spend Management

GSK: Bidding for Business

Posted: 2016-Oct-07

Lots of companies say they're innovative when it come to reducing legal spend. GlaxoSmithKline doesn't just talk the talk. It backs it up with a process for selecting outside firms that is saving the company millions of dollars. The process, called the Outside Counsel Selection Initiative, can be best described as "an electronic procurement bidding auction room," says Brennan Torregrossa, VP and asso­ciate general counsel at GSK and head of the Global External Legal Relations Team. "Think of it as a reverse eBay," he says.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

How Do You Insure for a Security Breach?

Posted: 2016-Oct-07

What began with the FTC and more basic security standards has since grown to a long list of regulators with expanding security requirements and regularly issued risk alerts. As a result of the increased enforcement, the “regulatory defense and penalties” insuring agreement among cyber policies is poised to become a coverage of much discussion and careful critique. As is always the case with professional and management liability policies, coverage terms vary significantly requiring careful review. We pulled approximately 15 policy specimens from the top cyber insurers and analyzed their scope of regulatory coverage to determine the range of differentiation and compile a list of recommendations based on standard marketplace language.   Full Story

Spend Management

Despite Early Success, Technology Assisted Review’s Acceptance Is Limited by Lack of Definition

Posted: 2016-Oct-07

Predictive Coding and Technology Assisted Review (“TAR”) help ameliorate a problem that denigrates civil litigation: extortion by discovery when discovery costs “force settlements for reasons and on terms that related more to the costs of discovery than to the merits of the case.” More specifically, when searching some particular information, in some particular circumstances, as employed by some particular people who are pursuing some particular objectives, using some particular technologies, TAR works well in some particular ways.This problem remains: while TAR has been patented, promoted and demonstrated, TAR lacks a definition of what it does, in what conditions it works, and in what circumstances is it ineffective.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Is the Legal Operating Model About to Crash?

Posted: 2016-Oct-06

Most companies have a legal operating model that has served them well for a long time, but has its limits. For years, in-house counsel have struggled to keep up with rising demand, running the same plays faster and faster. They are trying to squeeze more and more out of the current operating model, but is the traditional model on the brink of collapse?   Full Story

Prelude to Successful Legal Process Management

Posted: 2016-Oct-05

A less discussed aspect of LPM revolves around the predicate(s) to launching an LPM initiative. As with any change or initiative, it is critical to assess whether pre-conditions for success exist in an organization and then it is important to set the stage and create an engaged audience.   Full Story

Spend Management

Webcast: How to Assess the Success of Value-Based Fees without Shadow Billing

Posted: 2016-Oct-05

Date: November 16, 2016 Time: 12:00 p.m. (EST) Topic: Four ACC Value Champions will discuss how they evaluate their non-hourly pricing models and fees. These value leaders with 3M, Bank of America, Medtronic and United Technologies Corporation have moved the majority of external spending to value-based fees, using flat fees for entire matters and portfolios of litigation and corporate matters. When the work is done, how do they know they priced it appropriately? And how do they refine their pricing models over time? What metrics do they share internally to report results? Tune in to find out. *Sponsored by the ACC Legal Operations Metrics and Analysis Interest Group    Full Story

ACC Legal Ops Observer - September Issue

Posted: 2016-Sep-30

There's more provocative food for thought in the September newsletter. The lead article asks,"What's Wrong With Litigation?" and breaks down some of the unwelcome over-work, mysteries and surprises we face - and that legal ops pros can solve by demanding better up front planning and on-going transparency of law firms. And the latest installment of the "Unless You Ask" series revisits value-adds from law firms with some new ideas, such as secondments for corporate legal ops, using law firm experts to provide company training in prevention tactics (it's not your father's CLE), legal advice hotlines and more. But don't just think, dive in! Check out the "Roundup of Activities within the ACC Legal Ops Section" to decide where to get more involved.   Full Story

Virtual Roundtable on the ABA Model Diversity Survey

Posted: 2016-Sep-29

The ACC Legal Ops Metrics & Analysis interest group is hosting a virtual roundtable discussion at Noon EST on Oct 25th about the Model Diversity Survey recently published by the ABA. We will discuss reactions to the survey, what signing on means, and implementation. To participate, email LawDepartmentOps@ACC.com.    Full Story

Five AI Pioneers to Watch

Posted: 2016-Sep-29

Overviews of service offerings for eDiscovery, contract review, patents, in-house workflows, and document review.    Full Story

Spend Management

Study: Costs Matter More to Female GCs

Posted: 2016-Sep-27

A new survey from the United kingdom shows that legal spending and priorities within the department differ according to whether a man or woman is in charge. U.K.-based legal research firm Acritas Research Ltd. surveyed nearly 1,800 senior in-house counsel across the globe for its 2016 Diversity Report and found that men earn more—and they plan to spend more. In fact, overall legal spending by men is expected to increase by 12 percent in the next year. Women, however, have no intention of upping their overall legal budgets, according to the survey.   Full Story

5 Ways BigLaw Is Helping Parents Get Back To Work

Posted: 2016-Sep-27

BigLaw is pulling out all the stops to retain lawyers who've recently had children, with three law firms unveiling programs targeting just that in the past two weeks alone. Article reviews law firms' work-life balance support tactics: adjusted schedules, flexibility, lactation support, mentoring, education, and helping with the details. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Law Should Have Baseball's Metrics

Posted: 2016-Sep-26

Yogi Berra said, “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half physical.” His numbers are off, but his on-field stats, glove, and immense popularity landed him in Cooperstown, a place that enshrines baseball greats based upon metrics. Ever wonder why law—a trillion dollar global industry purportedly grounded in evidence, proof, and fact—is so remarkably devoid of meaningful metrics for performance and results?   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Does Your Legal Dept. Need Its Own Web Site?

Posted: 2016-Sep-22

It's obvious why a law firm would want a nice website: business development. But do legal departments at companies need web sites too? Plenty of general counsel seem to think so, judging by the growing number of internal web sites they are launching in order to improve their relationships with business-side colleagues.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Almost Half of GCs Have Dealt With a Data Breach, Survey Says

Posted: 2016-Sep-22

A whopping 40 percent of general counsel of major corporations said in a just-released survey that their companies have experienced a data breach in the past year. And data privacy/security tied for first place in the survey on a list of GC priorities for the coming months. On other topics the survey showed: * Some 79 percent of the GCs said that they conduct one-half to two-thirds of their legal work in-house. Another 12 percent said that they conduct 75-100 percent of it in-house. * Only 23 percent reported delegating more legal work to outside counsel than 12 months ago, while 77 percent said they're not. * The GCs split on legal expenditures, with 41 percent predicting that they would increase in the next year, while another 41 percent estimated that they would remain the same.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The 4 Biggest Challenges GCs Face Today

Posted: 2016-Sep-22

Managing a legal department today means steering it through the modern pitfalls that are redefining what it means to be a general counsel, from shrinking budgets and headcounts to a rising tide of cyber risk. Here, experts discuss the biggest threats that law departments face and how some have learned to cope. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Today's CLO's Are Tomorrow's Lawyers

Posted: 2016-Sep-19

Edith Wharton, the novelist and social chronicler, remarked “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. “ Chief Legal Officers are both candles and mirrors of the legal profession. To understand their role and its interconnected functions is to see tomorrow’s lawyers. Why? Short answer: “being a lawyer” requires legal, business, technology, and process expertise as well as the ability to collaborate seamlessly with other professionals and paraprofessionals. CLO’s function this way—tomorrow’s lawyers will too.   Full Story

Spend Management

GC Reliance On Alternative Fees Shows No Signs Of Slowing

Posted: 2016-Sep-16

The use of alternative fee arrangements by corporate counsels is still on the rise, according to survey results released Thursday that found a larger portion of in-house attorneys are using AFAs in 2016 than were in 2015 and are spending a bigger chunk of their budgets on the fee arrangements. Sixty percent of in-house attorneys reported using alternative fee arrangements during the past year — up from 56 percent the year before — and 97 percent of those who did use them said they were satisfied with the arrangement, according to Norton Rose Fulbright’s 2016 Litigation Trends Annual Survey, which polled more than 600 corporate counsel representing companies across 24 countries. [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

2016 Litigation Trends Annual Survey

Posted: 2016-Sep-16

Norton Rose Fulbright has released its 2016 Litigation Trends Annual Survey. This year’s survey polled more than 600 corporate counsel representing companies across 24 countries on disputes-related issues and concerns. Survey respondents?primarily general counsel?indicate an upward trend in virtually all of the metrics relating to litigation and the broader disputes area. Twelfth edition introduces litigation minimization framework and expenditure benchmarking tools. The survey report’s litigation minimization framework comes as a result of reviewing and collating successful measures taken by companies facing disputes. This practical tool is adaptable to suit a company’s specific situation, allowing in-house counsel to review their current approach and implement measures to reduce litigation risk and costs.   Full Story

Spend Management

Ask and Ye Shall … Get More! ACC Ops Shows How to Get More from Outside Firms

Posted: 2016-Sep-15

Unless You Ask bills itself as a “guide for law departments to get more from external relationships.” As such, it is an important addition to the lengthening shelf of self-help resources for in-house counsel (many offered up by consultants themselves eager to help). It is also an odd duck of a document – by turns a menu, checklist, conversation starter, jeremiad, marriage counselor, screed, shrink and opera buffa – all rolled into one.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

An On-Ramp to the C-Suite: A joint initiative aims to return motivated female lawyers to corporate counsel roles nationwide

Posted: 2016-Sep-15

At the entry level, men and women join the legal profession at the same rates, yet by the time they reach leadership roles, less than 20 percent of partners are women. Corporate legal departments suffer the same disparity. This leaky pipeline is partially due to women’s choice to set aside their careers for child-rearing. As a recruiter, Caren Ulrich Stacy recognized that a highly motivated talent pool was not being tapped and created OnRamp Fellowship – now joined by OnRamp In-House, an initiative the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) has joined with – to reintroduce women lawyers returning to the field after an absence. Here, Stacy and Veta T. Richardson of ACC discuss the evolution the program and the depth of the need to address the root causes. Their remarks have been edited for length and style.   Full Story

Diversity In The Legal Profession

Posted: 2016-Sep-14

Law is said to be the least diverse profession in the country, and companies - particularly companies in industries where innovation is crucial - are losing out because of it. What companies can do now to address the problem.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Cybersecurity Becoming Big Issue For GCs, Report Says

Posted: 2016-Sep-13

General counsel at firms around the world have seen their responsibilities grow over the years, and a Monday report finds that such is only going to increase as issues ranging from cybersecurity to social media risks come more and more under their purview. The report from KPMG LLP’s consulting arm found that responsibilities for information technology have been piling up on corporate general counsel’s plate in recent years, and that trend is likely to continue as regulators in the financial, health and other industries increase their scrutiny of firms’ efforts to defend against computer hacks, malware and other potential disasters. [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

Spend Management

GCs Moved $4B In Legal Work Back In-House This Year

Posted: 2016-Sep-12

Corporate general counsel have shifted a staggering $4 billion in legal spending back in-house so far this year, according to a recent survey by BTI Consulting Group Inc., marking one of the largest moves to more internal work in more than a decade. The survey, which was released Wednesday and is based on 330 interviews with in-house attorneys BTI carried out on a rolling basis between February and August, found overall that this year’s shift so far makes this the eighth year that legal work has moved in house out of the last 10, and also put it down as the second-largest amount to be moved in-house in a single year in the past 16 years.[Law360 Subscription Required]   Full Story

How We Can Diversify The Legal Profession And Why We Must

Posted: 2016-Sep-12

When I was asked to submit a guest column to Law360, I thought about reporting on current trends of diversity in the legal profession, or writing another article about the various steps that we can take to improve diversity in our organizations. Discussion about these topics is undoubtedly important, and much has been written about them. But I concluded it would be much more valuable to focus on a current initiative, which I believe will have a profound impact on diversity in our profession, and one in which you can be part of today. [Law360 - Subscription Required]    Full Story

Spend Management

Webcast: AFA Reverse Auctions for Deals - Sept 14th at 1pm EST

Posted: 2016-Sep-12

The ACC Health Care Industry Group is hosting this first of two webcasts on AFA-Reverse Auctions. This second webcast will focus on deals. Presenters: Brennan Torregrossa is Vice President and Associate General Counsel in GlaxoSmithKline's litigation department and Elizabeth Planell is Assistant General Counsel, Legal Corporate Functions - Business Development Transaction for GlaxoSmithKline.   Full Story

Dozens Of GCs Pledge To Give Work To More Diverse Firms

Posted: 2016-Sep-09

Two dozen general counsels from varied major corporations, like eBay Inc., United Airlines, McDonald’s Corp. and Biogen Inc., signed a letter Wednesday pledging to give their legal work to more diverse law firms. The letter is an effort to support the American Bar Association’s recently adopted Resolution 113, pushing all legal service providers, including corporations and law firms, to “expand and create opportunities” at all levels of responsibility for diverse attorneys. The resolution also called on corporate counsels to help create these opportunities by directing more of their outsourced legal work to diverse attorneys. [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

Why Intraspexion’s Use of Deep Learning May Be Deeply Valuable

Posted: 2016-Sep-09

Editors note: This past month, AI Trends editors spoke with Nick Brestoff, the founder and CEO of startup Intraspexion. That interview was interestingly enough the “most viewed” article of the month even though it was published on August 22. In the interview, Brestoff said that his software system, powered by a deep learning algorithm, could help companies avoid litigation, and save millions. Since we did cover machine learning in the legal industry a few times, and each article generated significant interest, we decide to go back to Nick and learn more.   Full Story

2017 ACC Legal Ops Conference - Save June 4-6 & Help Shape the Agenda

Posted: 2016-Sep-08

Call for Programs now open to members through 9 December 2016. Organize a program on a topic of interest or propose a session to share your knowledge and experience. Program organizers and faculty receive complimentary registrations to the annual conference. Programs will be selected by a member committee. To join the conference planning committee, email LawDepartmentOps@ACC.com. Take a moment today to propose the programs you want to participate in at the next annual gathering.    Full Story

Contract Management

Gaining a Strategic Advantage Through Analytics for Contracts

Posted: 2016-Sep-08

This article discusses the roles of descriptive, predictive, prescriptive and cognitive analytics to leverage data in contracts, along with data from other systems, to gain actionable insight.   Full Story

How Artificial Intelligence is Already Transforming Legal Services

Posted: 2016-Sep-07

In this edition of AI roundup, we take a look at the ways artificial intelligence is being implemented in today's legal departments. As observed by ILTACON-attendee Adi Elliott, vice president of market planning at Epiq Systems, "Machine learning and artificial intelligence were mentioned in virtually every session about the future of legal technology. While predictive coding has been around for years, these were by the far the most talked-about industry trends at ILTACON 2016. Both were discussed primarily in the context of benefits, such as time gained, cost transparency and efficiency."   Full Story

How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform The Delivery Of Legal Services

Posted: 2016-Sep-06

Michio Kaku, a noted theoretical physicist and futurist, predicts, “The job market of the future will consist of those jobs that robots cannot perform.” Robots have recently entered the legal workplace, performing several tasks once assigned to newly minted law grads. What does this mean for current and future lawyers? Simple answer: robots will not replace lawyers but they will work with them.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Flextronics Alums Launch Legal Ops Firm

Posted: 2016-Sep-01

Jonathan Hoak, who'd been GC, and Stephanie Corey, who'd run legal operations, hope to bring the legal ops message and methodology to companies of all sizes.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Q&A With the Founder of the Legal Ops Function at Bombardier

Posted: 2016-Aug-31

Jean-François L. Denis, president of ACC's Quebec Chapter, talks about his legal career and time spent at Bombardier, emerging and evolving trends within the legal profession and legal departments, what he sees coming down the pike for counsel in Canada and all over the world, as well as the importance of the legal ops function.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Buying Into Business Intelligence: Inside Analytics for Firms and Legal Departments

Posted: 2016-Aug-31

No longer just for Wall Street or Silicon Valley, business intelligence software is creeping into firms and legal departments, perhaps out of necessity.   Full Story

Spend Management

As Clients Demand More Efficiency, Many Law Firms Have Yet to Leverage Tech

Posted: 2016-Aug-30

Despite the advancements of legal collaboration technology, and the cost-management demands of the modern economy, only a minority of law firms have adopted collaboration tools to foster efficiency within their legal projects, according to the 2016 Law Firm Benchmarking Report, conducted by Exterro.   Full Story

Spend Management

Law Firms Push Work In-House As Rates Climb

Posted: 2016-Aug-30

Banks that lend money to law firms published two reports this month that concluded firms have hiked rates as demand for legal services wanes, a strategy for revenue growth that experts say will likely push more work in-house, further hurting demand for legal services. [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

Spend Management

How to Negotiate Technology Contracts

Posted: 2016-Aug-29

Companies' use of third-party technology is always governed by a contract. Depending upon the product or service at issue, the contract may be called a license agreement, subscription agreement, hosting agreement or something else entirely. While it is typically the lawyers (in consultation with the procurement group and the business stakeholders) that draft and revise technology contracts, they are ultimately business negotiations that allocate the rights, obligations, risks and liabilities among the parties.   Full Story

Spend Management

Shell Legal – RFI

Posted: 2016-Aug-25

Top-flight legal services are scarce like nice cars are scarce. Not everyone can afford them but those who can have options. At the very highest end (think a Bugatti or Paul Clement), there is true scarcity. At the low end, there is a price floor under which something serviceable is currently hard to find. But, in between, there is abundant supply. The challenge is in the choosing. The focus therefore shifts from quality to value. That is, from asking whether or not the service provided will be sufficient (the threshold consideration) to whether we are maximizing the purchasing power of our finite resources and how the investment will perform in the short, medium, and long term relative to the other available options (the differentiators).   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Next Frontier: A Legal Forecast for the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Posted: 2016-Aug-25

As the topic is becoming top of mind, the Wikimedia Foundation recently hosted an “Artificial Intelligence and the Law” panel in San Francisco to discuss the legal challenges and solutions presented by AI, ranging from lethal autonomous weapons, driverless cars, and ROSS, the first robot attorney. The panel featured impressive names such as Rebecca Crootof, executive director of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School; Jimoh Ovbiagele, co-founder and CTO at ROSS Intelligence; Christopher Reed, COO and general counsel at Zenti; David Ahn, Partner at Fenwick & West LLP; and moderator Chuck Roslof, legal counsel at Wikimedia. The panelists identified a few of the prominent legal and ethical issues surrounding AI that will arise over the coming years.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Law Firms Are Seeking Data Security Certification (Perspective)

Posted: 2016-Aug-22

In the wake of a number of high-profile data breaches involving law firms — including the recent Panama Papers breach — many U.S. law firms are moving toward obtaining ISO data security certification. ISO is an international organization that provides formal certification of a company’s data security practices. A March 2015 ILTA survey found that 18 law firms had obtained ISO certification, and that another 30 were in the process of obtaining the certification. It is likely that these numbers have increased since then.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

How Weak Client Email Security Exposes Outside Counsel to 'Spillover' Breach Risks

Posted: 2016-Aug-22

While law firms move to secure their systems from cybercriminals' phishing attacks and threats from their own employees, as outside counsel, they still face significant cyberattack and breach risks when it comes to corresponding with the clients they serve. According to "2016 Mimecast Business Email Threat Report," a survey of 600 IT managers in the U.S., U.K., South Africa and Australia, a majority of organizations are highly vulnerable to email attacks, and are falling short in securing their email infrastructure. Just under two-thirds of survey respondents cited email attacks as a high threat to their organization, while 83 percent noted email is one of the most commonly attacked IT channels.   Full Story

Spend Management

On Resolving Disputes: A Cravath Partner and Exxon Mobil’s GC (Perspective)

Posted: 2016-Aug-19

The U.S. Federal Court system was established for the “just, speedy and efficient” resolution of disputes. Unfortunately, the willingness of courts to permit broad, expansive discovery combined with the explosion of electronically stored information has led to massive increases in the costs of discovery, and as a result, U.S. courts are now often viewed as a costly and inequitable forum.   Full Story

Man Who Introduced Millions to Bitcoin Says Blockchain Is a Bust

Posted: 2016-Aug-19

Stefan Thomas, who introduced millions of people to bitcoin, has had a change of heart. Blockchain, the ledger software that makes the digital currency possible, is too rigid to gain wide adoption, he wrote in an essay titled “The Subtle Tyranny of Blockchain.”   Full Story

Spend Management

Why Won’t Law Firms Innovate? Clients Don’t Make Them

Posted: 2016-Aug-19

Technological innovation has disrupted industry at an aggressive rate in recent years. This manifests in different ways: from Airbnb’s threat to hotels, to non-traditional banking via apps such as Venmo. In this age of increased competition and hard-to-come-by revenue growth, companies that embrace change can dominate a market in the blink of an eye. Those that don’t, even well established companies with sterling reputations, can falter in the same time span. Traditional industries such as law firms, publishing companies, agriculture and banking have historically been slower to adopt new technologies or spearhead innovation. But it is law in particular that seems to have stagnated in the face of disruptive changes in the market.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Most in-house departments measure costs, but not value delivered

Posted: 2016-Aug-19

According to a recent survey by Acritas, 25 per cent of legal departments in large organizations have no metrics to measure the value they deliver to the organizations they serve, and those who do are primarily focusing metrics on costs.   Full Story

Spend Management

Demand Is Down. Why Are Billing Rates On the Rise?

Posted: 2016-Aug-18

Contradicting the ordinary rules of supply and demand, law firms have continued to jack up hourly fees faster than flat demand and a projected 1.7 percent annual inflation rate would suggest. According to a survey of 180 large U.S.-based firms released this week by Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Group, demand for services grew a negligible 0.3 percent in the first half of the year. At the same time, Citi found, average rates per hour have grown by 3.2 percent, surpassing last year's 3.1 percent hourly average price increase.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Transforming Legal from a cost center to an innovative department with lasting business impact

Posted: 2016-Aug-18

We’re all familiar with the pervasive stereotypes that have dogged corporate legal departments over the past few decades—an impediment to closing deals, a center of obstinacy, a bottleneck, the “department of no.” But legal doesn’t have to be relegated to a stereotype, merely “protecting” and “supporting” the corporation. Instead, it can aspire to be a vibrant center of innovation and set a new paradigm for the department.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Why 'Spymail' Should Worry Your Legal Dept.

Posted: 2016-Aug-17

In-house lawyers can add another item to their ever-growing list of cybersecurity concerns: spymail. Spymail is email enabled with tracking devices. It allows senders to know who opened their emails, what links were clicked, the time the email was opened, the location, and even if the email gets forwarded.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

At GSK, In-House Lawyers Get Paid to Volunteer

Posted: 2016-Aug-17

Most in-house lawyers could only dream of taking months off to do volunteer work. But the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline PLC is allowing its lawyers to do exactly that—and even paying their salaries and travel expenses.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

3 Recent Legal Tech Partnerships and What They Mean for the Industry

Posted: 2016-Aug-17

What an e-discovery service provider, consulting firm, and legal tech SaaS provider’s recent partnerships say about the focus and beliefs of the modern day legal tech industry - touches on TAR, EDRM and Cloud Security.   Full Story

This Week in AI, The Law Firm Approach, The Displacement Decade, and Modern Machine Learning

Posted: 2016-Aug-17

Here's a look at some recent events, writings and products surrounding artificial intelligence for legal technology.   Full Story

Contract Management

How Electronic Discovery Gave Birth to Contract Recovery

Posted: 2016-Aug-17

Now more than ever, issues of contract management efficiency and risk management are major focal points of company operational strategy and initiative. Often general counsel, serving in their varied roles of legal expert, risk manager and business leader, have been asked to provide guidance in this area. Many are now being held ultimately responsible for the institution of contract management best practices and supporting information systems—at least at an architectural or policy level.   Full Story

Spend Management

5 Techniques for Selecting and Managing Outside Counsel Without Upsetting the Applecart

Posted: 2016-Aug-16

Our team observes that general counsel struggle to manage outside lawyers while still preserving value and responsiveness alongside cost-effective results. While there are no “silver bullets,” we have listed five techniques for selecting and managing outside counsel without upsetting the applecart.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

3 Ways to Better Secure Enterprise Messaging During M&As

Posted: 2016-Aug-16

When it comes to being vulnerable for a breach, mergers and acquisitions (M&As) tend to leave many doors open, creating great potential for highly-confidential information to get in the wrong hands.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

At Google, VMware, 'Rotations' Keep Lawyers Happy

Posted: 2016-Aug-15

Upward movement can be hard to find in big legal departments. Rotations are a solution, and there are many types: practice area switch, regional switch, law firm to in-house, and in-house legal to nonlegal, like a lawyer moving strictly into compliance. Lawyers at some of Silicon Valley's biggest companies, including VMware Inc. and Google Inc., are proponents.   Full Story

Global In-House: Use What's Left of 2016 to Manage Your Workload Better

Posted: 2016-Aug-15

If you work in the Western world, you likely just returned from vacation or will take your break soon. Here's some food for thought as you shift out of work mode or enter back into it, with the year nearly two-thirds over. Refuse to be bogged down by the complex. In the next four months of 2016, take action to make things more simple.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

10 Ways To Mitigate Vendor Cybersecurity Risk

Posted: 2016-Aug-15

The truth is that vendors don’t necessarily have the same interest in securing a client’s data as the company itself. One company can have hundreds of vendors, all of which have different risk profiles. Even if a company is able to find vendors with acceptable risk profiles, their subvendors might, unbeknownst to the company, have lax and insufficient information security standards. Moreover, most companies, if they do perform a risk profile assessment or audit, generally do so at the inception of a vendor relationship, which does not account for changes that may occur in a vendor’s risk profile. Without an objective, repeatable process for cybersecurity triage, companies remain exposed to any new risks their vendor may face. [Law360 - Subscription required}   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

ACC Annual Meeting October 16-19 in San Francisco

Posted: 2016-Aug-12

ACC Legal Ops members are welcome to register for the ACC Annual Meeting by using registration code LOAM16. A nice bonus: early bird rate of $1475 applies. Check out the suggested curriculum for legal operations professionals on the Program Schedule Page.    Full Story

Knowledge Management

Sustainable Knowledge Management

Posted: 2016-Aug-12

What if we adopted a more sustainable approach to knowledge management (KM) that is in a similar vein to sustainable business practices or sustainable agriculture? What would a more sustainable approach to KM look like? This piece is targeted to law firm KM professionals, but provides terrific food-for-thought for in-house approaches as well.    Full Story

Spend Management

Rising Associate Salaries: Will Corporate Counsel Compensation Be Affected?

Posted: 2016-Aug-12

While law department compensation may certainly be affected further down the road, there should be no expectation for law department salaries to rise any faster than they have been for the past number of years. One reason for this is that the law department recruiting pipeline has shifted over time. At one point, law departments hired primarily from law firms. Now, law departments are diversifying their recruiting pipeline.   Full Story

Contract Management

Contract Maturity Model (Part 3): Evolution of Content from One-Offs to Modular Components

Posted: 2016-Aug-12

This is the third, and last, article in the series of posts on the future of contracting platforms. It focuses on content systems — namely, the contracts and clauses that comprise the building blocks of agreements.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Gaining the Power of Metrics Means Looking At More than Just Legal Spend

Posted: 2016-Aug-12

Rather than simply focusing on metrics around spending, find data points that help the company avoid disputes and other legal issues.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

How Big Data Analytics is Changing Legal Ethics (Perspective)

Posted: 2016-Aug-11

Big data analytics are changing how lawyers find clients, conduct legal research and discovery, draft contracts and court papers, manage billing and performance, predict the outcome of a matter, select juries, and more. Ninety percent of corporate legal departments, law firms, and government lawyers note that data analytics are applied in their organizations, albeit in limited ways, according to a 2015 survey. A growing literature advocates for businesses and governmental bodies to adopt data ethics policies, and many have done so. While some law firms and legal services organizations follow data-use policies or codes of conduct, many do not.    Full Story

Spend Management

Webcast: Legal Spend Management, A Simplified Approach (Sept 15 @ Noon EST)

Posted: 2016-Aug-11

Any individual or organization tasked with mitigating legal spend will benefit from the session. The two presenters who have greater than 20 years of experience in legal spend management will share their knowledge and experiences. The goal is to provide a simplified view of the many programs and strategies around legal spend management through a moderated discussion. All participants will leave the session with a strong understanding of current trends and methods as well as proven strategies for mitigating legal spend. Presented by Steven Rudnick, Director, Legal Spend Management, QuisLex Inc And John Kelly, General Manager Legal Solutions, Bottomline Technologies    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Three Ways Technology Can Help Attorneys Execute an Information Governance (IG) Program

Posted: 2016-Aug-10

Facing stiff resistance and disconnected employees, IG programs can be implemented through novel use of automatic tagging, machine learning and novel search-engine capabilities.   Full Story

At ABA Meeting, Renewed Call for Diversity Among GCs

Posted: 2016-Aug-09

The American Bar Association is getting serious about calls for greater diversity. At its annual meeting in San Francisco, the ABA’s House of Delegates will vote on Monday on Resolution 113, which calls on clients to direct a greater percentage of the legal services they purchase to diverse attorneys. In addition, the ABA President’s Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission has released a six-page, 15-question voluntary “Model Diversity Survey” that asks firms about their demographic profile across equity partners, non-equity partners and all other levels, and looks at leadership positions and committee compositions. The American Bar Foundation plans on collecting and aggregating the data submitted.   Full Story

3 Ways Firms Are Letting Clients Down

Posted: 2016-Aug-09

Many law firms manage to resoundingly fail at offering clients the services they need in a manner they desire, despite their ability to provide sound legal advice, leading to broken relationships and lost business. Here, experts offer a few of the biggest ways law firms are letting clients down. [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

Rising Up; BigLaw's Diversity Problem Puts It On Collision Course With Millennials

Posted: 2016-Aug-08

Even as law firms nationwide are boosting minority recruitment efforts and devoting significant resources to diversity programs, attorneys of color and women continue to face significant barriers in attaining partnership status and leadership roles. As a result, the profession has struggled to shed its label as a bastion of white, male privilege. Experts fear that if law firms don’t make immediate strides toward becoming more diverse and inclusive, they risk alienating the next generation of lawyers — millennials who are highly attuned to institutional bias and increasingly vocal about eradicating it. To the extent that industry leaders ignore campus protest movements like the ones unfolding at HLS and other BigLaw feeders, they do so at their own peril.   Full Story

Legal Tech Startups: Not Just for Silicon Valley Anymore

Posted: 2016-Aug-05

The legal services industry, by and large, has no Research & Development component. It’s not in the nature of law firms to set aside resources to pursue innovation. But there is no shortage of legal R&D going on. In recent years, the number of lawyers and technologists combining forces to develop new legal products has exploded. The map below describes just a fraction of the many legal tech startups active today, sorted by type of service or application. The map is derived from the Discover Legal Technology database hosted by CodeX, the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. That database currently tracks 558 legal tech startups from around the world, and there are probably dozens if not hundreds that haven’t been added yet.   Full Story

AI in Contract Management

Posted: 2016-Aug-01

In many ways, contract provide perfect fodder for innovation and expansion of artificial intelligence (AI) into the legal world. Contracts are often mechanical, highly organized, and filled with boilerplate language They can also be exceedingly long and unwieldy, taking huge amounts of time and resources for attorneys to parse the content of a contract and assess its merits or needs.    Full Story

Robots - The Latest Threat to Associates and the Billable Hour

Posted: 2016-Jul-29

It was only a matter of time before Watson entered the legal industry, and in 2014 a lawyer named Andrew Arruda founded a company called Ross Intelligence to develop a virtual legal assistant powered by the platform. Companies like Ross are starting to gain traction as technological advancements make virtual legal assistants a reality and firms look for ever more ways to be competitive in a cutthroat legal market. Now, artificial intelligence, along with a host of other technologies, threatens to upend the traditional BigLaw model and could force more associates — already pressed for jobs — out of work. [Law360 - Subscription Required]   Full Story

Spend Management

GCs Outgrowing The Industry's Preferred Billing Codes

Posted: 2016-Jul-29

GlaxoSmithKline PLC wants to kill the billable hour, at least within its own corporate walls. But Associate General Counsel Robert Harchut says to fully eradicate the hourly mentality, the legal team has added another legal industry mainstay to its hit list: the Uniform Task-Based Management System electronic billing codes that have become the industry standard for both lawyers and clients. Harchut currently leads the "billing codes for AFAs" project in the Association of Corporate Counsel's metrics and analysis interest group, which is in the early stages of devising a billing code set built for our time, a system that breaks down legal matters into more granular tasks to take into consideration nonhourly billing arrangements and the data analytics. That would help a lot of new AFA users conquer their biggest learning curve: determining a pricing structure that is fair to both the client and outside counsel. And more educated, accurate and effective pricing promises to make AFAs pay off for more in-house users.   Full Story

Legal Technology & Innovation: The Big Tent Needs to Get a Little Bigger

Posted: 2016-Jul-29

The recent Janders Dean Legal Horizons Conference highlighted the wide field that new legal tech and legal innovation occupy today. It’s a very big tent. Among the 20 sets of speakers in a Ted Talk-style format at the event, eight represented legal technology companies, three represented law firms, two were from academia, two represented public interest organizations, and the rest were a smattering of people representing inside counsel, government, alternative legal service providers and consultant from outside the legal field altogether. It was an intoxicating mix, covering topics from the common challenges of new legal services business models and new ways for firms to work with each other, to using advanced technologies like Blockchain, machine learning and expert systems in providing legal service. Some talks focused on the how, not the what: agile development and service design techniques, gaming’s role in training and education, and law firms investing in outside tech development rather than building their own.   Full Story

BigLaw’s Gender Diversity Problem Is The Traditional Model Itself

Posted: 2016-Jul-28

Anyone remember the Jerry Reed song, “She Got The Goldmine, I Got The Shaft”? The country crooner garnered a Grammy for singing about the inequitable upshot of his divorce. That song came to mind when I read the recent Law 360 “Glass Slipper Report” on women in law firms. Perhaps a female lawyer with a good voice and an ability to strum could reprise Reed’s tune and call it: “He Got The Corner Office and I Got The Door.” Female lawyers still get the shaft. Why?   Full Story

Published: Jul 28, 2016 Rising Associate Salaries: Should Law Departments Foot the Tab?

Posted: 2016-Jul-28

Whether or not law departments buy the argument that new costs are justified, law departments should keep a close eye on firms dealing with overcapacity, and not implementing strategic plans for retention. Firms that put all their eggs in the recruitment basket and none in retention will struggle in the long-run, and they are not the firms that can safeguard corporate counsel’s best interests. As noted in ALM Intelligence’s last post on the associate salary raises, it is a buyer’s market. Law departments can push back if firms are not communicating their strategies to clients, and move work to other firms, or bring that work in house.   Full Story

Spend Management

Shell Legal – Strategic Selection

Posted: 2016-Jul-25

Law firms and lawyers appear fungible from a certain distance. While it is relatively simple to narrow a selection process to a subset of qualified firms, differentiating those firms from each other is a challenge for the firms and for the client. Former ACC Chairman Michael Roster, who is also the former managing partner at Morrison & Foerster, estimates that for 85 percent of a company’s legal spend, “there are typically 10, 20, or more law firms and practice groups who can handle the work superbly, not just okay, but superbly.” Winnowing the options to a few panel firms requires either a willingness to throw darts blindly at a board or a structured process for understanding which firms are the most compatible given the client’s priorities, profile, and culture. Opting for the latter, strategic sourcing then becomes not about getting the cheapest service by beating up suppliers, but about obtaining the best service at the best value. This requires abandoning ad hoc selections based in unjustified preference or complacency. Strategic sourcing demands a rigorous and collaborative approach that addresses all levers for savings through objective analysis and market intelligence.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Work to do: Almost a quarter of GCs have reduced in-house headcount, study finds

Posted: 2016-Jul-24

More than half of GCs face budget cuts and almost a quarter have cut their in-house team internal headcount, a new survey has found. According to the study, 56% of GCs were affected by budget reductions, with 24% of those GCs had their legal teams reduced. The study, by Ashurst titled 'Riding in the winds of change' analysed the views of over 50 GCs and senior executives during sit-down interviews.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Infographic: Ashurst Study on Pressures for In-House Legal Departments Around the Globe

Posted: 2016-Jul-24

This research highlighted that more than 80% of clients remain under significant internal pressure to deliver operational efficiencies. Those clients also confirmed that their three core priorities to address these challenges are: Increasing efficiency of resources, including unbundling matters; Strengthening the process of managing legal matters, including project management skills; and More innovative use of technology. When implemented together, these three strategies can support each other in a 'virtuous circle', producing greater efficiency improvements together than in isolation.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Using Metrics to Measure Law Department Performance Checklist

Posted: 2016-Jul-24

Faced with increasing pressure from company management, corporate law departments are becoming more efficient by using a variety of cost-cutting methods. To measure the outcome of these efficiency efforts, many law departments use metrics to objectively quantify, analyze, and report on their improvements in performance over time. Measuring the right metrics can provide in-house counsel with compelling evidence that law departments add demonstrable value to their companies. [Sponsored content: PLC]   Full Story

The obsolete associate

Posted: 2016-Jul-15

I have a hard time seeing how law firms will ever return to the days when associates outnumbered partners and served as the primary source of leveraged revenue generation. The original strategic purposes and business functions of the law firm associate don’t really fit this market anymore. And there’s at least a little irony in the fact that those original purposes and functions are frequently traced all the way back to a law firm named Cravath. [Perspective from Jordan Furlong, Law21]   Full Story

The Intangible Law Firm

Posted: 2016-Jul-12

Remember all those ludicrous predictions you kept hearing about how law firms were someday going to invest heavily in intelligent technology that could do legal work? Funny thing about that: someday is today. Here’s what’s actually happening, right now, with advanced technology in law firms; and a cogent case for making investments in branded expert systems and process improvement initiatives from Jordan Furlong.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Millennials And The Future Of Legal Services

Posted: 2016-Jul-11

We’ve already experienced a tremendous explosion of business models built around contract and temporary attorneys which have become commonplace in corporations and even in some law firms. There is also expected to be a greater willingness to source and hire from other industries and non-traditional legal backgrounds. This does not bode well for Millennial attorneys as a whole. This trend has been increasing, and I believe it’s a permanent wave. Law firms and legal departments have needed business people for a long time to take care of budgeting, manage legal work, and undertake process improvement, technology adoption and automation initiatives. In general, these are not among lawyers’ strongest skill sets.   Full Story

Don’t Fear the Robot, Says Richard Susskind

Posted: 2016-Jul-11

It may sound outlandish to hear about law firms building software programs to help navigate increasingly complex regulatory regimes, but it’s not fiction. Last week, Big Law Business reported on how Allen & Overy and Axiom both have developed software — that cuts out a component of work that would otherwise have been handled by humans — to help banks deal with new regulations on derivative contracts. To answer whether the future is now, and we’ll see more legal work performed by machines they tracked down the U.K.-based technologist Richard Susskind, a close observer of the legal profession who earlier this year co-authored the book, “The Future of the Professions.”   Full Story

Spend Management

Managing Partners on Change: Client's Don't Ask, Partners Resist

Posted: 2016-Jul-11

To the extent one deems the legal market as insufficiently dynamic--change occurs but is not fast enough, broad enough, or deep enough--you might be inclined to think that the people nominally in charge are burying their heads in the sand. But the data suggests otherwise. While there can be an unbridgeable gap between knowledge and action, the MPs seem well versed in the shifting economic landscape. In the 2016 Altman Weil MP survey, the MPs provided their opinions on the permanency of important trends.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

ACC Legal Ops Observer - July Issue - Conference Roundup & More

Posted: 2016-Jul-11

Whether you attended the annual conference or not, you'll want to check out the article on themes and activities at the gathering in Chicago last month; read about how J&J is aligning with law firms on spend data and the latest installment in the "Unless You Ask"series on getting more from vendor relationships; weigh in on the new task-coding scheme proposed by the Metrics & Analysis Interest Group; and download three new resources aimed at helping you optimize legal operations.    Full Story

How Legal Technology Will Change the Business of Law

Posted: 2016-Jul-10

Powerful forces are reshaping the corporate legal-advice market, including price pressure from clients and the digitization of legal data. Legal-technology solutions can help law firms succeed in this new era, but only if they understand the tech landscape and redefine key elements of their business model. This 20 page analysis from Boston Consulting Group and Bucerius Law School focuses on law firm impacts.    Full Story

The Full-Service Client Partnership Model: A Primer for Law Firms

Posted: 2016-Jul-10

In the current market, law firms need to manage client relationships by providing advice through two key sources: traditional lawyering, or the practice of law, and through legal operations, or the business of law. Lawyers are the primary resource for their clients, but a firm’s professional staff—its operations, pricing, technology, knowledge management, human resources and marketing experts—can be an untapped source of value, and proactively sharing their expertise with clients (delivering non-legal services) is essential to broadening and deepening the law firm/client relationship.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Top 7 Updates and Developments in eDiscovery

Posted: 2016-Jul-10

The eDiscovery world continues to evolve, with new technology, new standards, and new ways to make eDiscovery work better for you. To help you get a handle on all the developments, here are seven top eDiscovery updates, from the FindLaw archives.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Analytics Revolution Will Drive Better Litigation Outcomes

Posted: 2016-Jul-10

A new generation of eDiscovery software products is stirring excitement as we’re discovering the enormous untapped potential of advanced visual analytics in the eDiscovery workflow.   Full Story

LegalTech Knowledge: Will Law Schools React on Time? | Legal IT Insider

Posted: 2016-Jul-10

The most recent reports on the future of the legal industry show law firms are in a dire need of fresh talent, and new skills. Future lawyers will have to demonstrate knowledge in project management and legal technology. Such skills will be crucial for firms and attorneys who want to stay in the market. However, the big question is: Are law schools preparing students for the future of law, and the changes already taking place? Let’s see the latest insights!   Full Story

Spend Management

Clients Willing to Hire for Litigation and Corporate Work, Says New Report

Posted: 2016-Jul-10

A new CounselLink report suggests clients aren’t likely to retain new law firms this year. However, as they say, there are exceptions to the rule. The 2015 CounselLink Year-End ELM Trends Report concludes a majority of clients, 56 percent, plan to stay with their incumbent firms. Interestingly, the tide changes for those clients seeking counsel in two particular areas of law— litigation and corporate. The report found 57 percent of clients with significant litigation hired a new firm in 2015. The report defines “significant work” as work with at least one matter with a minimum of $100k in outside counsel fees. Similarly, 46 percent of legal departments engaged with a new law firm in the last year, for a high value corporate matter. The report also concludes litigation is the one area of law in which clients are most likely to engage with multiple firms. By contrast, less than a quarter of clients are willing to bring on a new firm to handle their employment matters.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

What In-House Counsel Should Know About Cybersecurity Information Sharing

Posted: 2016-Jul-08

Companies are already sharing cyber threat data, but many remain leery as they engage in this largely unchartered territory. This article analyzes the primary concerns raised by companies and highlight steps they can take to safely share information and leverage this important weapon against cybercrime.   Full Story

Behind the Hype: AI’s Deployment, and What it Means for the Legal Market

Posted: 2016-Jul-07

Artificial intelligence is legal’s new buzzword, but its use and effects on the industry are far from novel. It is a term that fosters apprehension and uncertainty, that defines either a disruptive force on the horizon or a beneficial future that is already set in stone. But what exactly is artificial intelligence (AI), and what does it mean in the legal industry?   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Agile Law: How to Apply Kanban in a Legal Department

Posted: 2016-Jul-06

Dr. Sascha Theissen is an expert in providing lean and agile business improving solutions. He started his career as an attorney, working for six years in two highly respected law firms and serving clients such as Porsche, Intel, Playboy, big OEMs, machine manufacturers, publishing companies and internet startups. Today, he is the General Counsel of the leading international Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. Dr. Theissen managed to successfully implement Agile methods in his legal department. We contacted him to discuss how exactly did these Agile methods strengthen the team’s strategic and operative activities.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

The Cloud and Filing Cabinets Should Have the Same Privacy Rights (Perspective)

Posted: 2016-Jul-06

The U.S. government has been seizing vast swaths of private customer data stored in “the cloud” at an alarming rate. Even more disturbing is the fact that in many cases, the government imposes gag orders that prevent people and businesses from knowing that their private information has been commandeered. The government does all of this under the auspices of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”), a law that was enacted in the 1980s, long before cloud computing became commonplace. [By Peter Carter, SVP & Chief Legal Officer, Delta Air Lines]   Full Story

Spend Management

D. Casey Flaherty / ACC release free book: Unless You Ask

Posted: 2016-Jul-06

Written by Flaherty in partnership with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Legal Ops Section, Unless You Ask is a practical guide to structured dialogue. It provides concrete guidance on the kinds of data-driven conversations that law departments and law firms should be having and how to go about them. Flaherty comments: “This is Version 1.0 of the book. We worked hard to get it out before last week's stellar ACC Legal Ops Conference. It isn't complete. It won't ever be complete. If the book ends up being read and the ideas get implemented (two big ifs), then we will continue to update the volume with new ideas and upgrades of existing ideas. Towards that end, I look forward to comments, criticisms, and suggestions to improve on what we've got so far. At its core, Unless You Ask is about conversations. How to start them and what you can get out of them. You may not get everything you ask for. But unless you ask, you are almost guaranteed to get none of it.” The book is presented as a menu with three sections: Value-Plus Services, Value-Enablement Services, Why.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

More In-House Lawyers Say Recruiting Is a Challenge: Survey

Posted: 2016-Jul-05

Legal departments are having more difficulty recruiting top-notch talent, according to a recent survey of in-house lawyers conducted by the legal staffing agency Robert Half Legal. According to the survey, 59 percent of in-house lawyers say that finding skilled legal professionals is somewhat challenging or very challenging. By way of comparison, that figure was 40 percent when Robert Half conducted a similar survey six months ago and 42 percent a year ago.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

When Lawyers Really Know Their Clients

Posted: 2016-Jul-05

Legal delivery is no longer solely about legal expertise; it also includes technology, business process, and the integration of all three. And law is no longer a vertical. Law cuts across industries, geographies, and executives in the C-suite. Business challenges typically have legal implications—that’s why to be effective lawyers must meld their understanding of the business and its DNA with legal expertise. Translation: “just being a lawyer” doesn’t cut it anymore. And corporate legal departments have "home field advantage."    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Analytics 2.0: Law Department Leaders Explain Integrating Data Into Their Practices

Posted: 2016-Jun-30

Finding the right combination of metrics to drive efficiency in your corporate legal department isn't a set-in-stone process. For some, it may mean working with IT to overhaul the metrics-collecting system. For others, it may mean working with the financial part of the business to know how to best display the metrics. And for a number of departments, it means looking internally to find what metrics should be collected at all. Building out an analytics system and dashboard can be a unique process but at the Association of Corporate Counsel's (ACC) Legal Ops Conference in Chicago, a panel of in-house experts who have gone through the process lent their expertise.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Technology and the In-house Lawyer

Posted: 2016-Jun-29

Investment in legal technology—primarily software, whether downloaded or hosted—can yield outsize benefits for lawyers in any setting. Inside counsel have differing needs than lawyers working in firms, but many of a lawyer's tasks remain the same regardless of setting. In any case, the risks of failing to implement the right tools to perform these tasks can be significant, including data vulnerabilities, e-discovery sanctions, malpractice or just bad lawyering. Investments in technology can increase the quality of legal services provided by in-house counsel while also providing a substantial return on investment. This article provides a primer, describing several software categories that are under-utilized in the in-house space and explaining how investment in them could provide substantial benefits to in-house legal departments.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Microsoft Proposes Norms for Fighting Cyberbreaches

Posted: 2016-Jun-29

Microsoft Corp. published a white paper Thursday urging new cyber "rules of the road" for nation-states and for the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry. Entitled "From Articulation to Implementation: Enabling Progress on Cybersecurity Norms," the document says that tech providers should agree to norms in order to enhance trust in ICT systems—trust that has been worn away in recent years by breaches and government intrusions.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Future of Corporate Legal Operations is Now

Posted: 2016-Jun-28

Think you've finally figured out the optimal way to operate a corporate legal department? Wait a year or two and the paradigm is likely to shift again, and this time, experience may not be enough to overcome the difficulties. "The old way is breaking down," says William (Bill) Henderson, law professor at Indiana University and researcher/chief strategy officer at Lawyer Metrics. "We need logic to right the ship." To help guide that ship, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) hosted its Legal Operations conference on June 23-24 in Chicago. The keynote panel, titled "The Changing Dynamics of the Legal Industry and Implications for Corporate Legal Change Agents," featured Henderson; Mark Smolik, general counsel and chief compliance officer of DHL/Exel Inc.; and Jeffrey Carr, former FMC Technologies GC and current president of ValoremNext.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Operations Movement Growing And Getting Stronger

Posted: 2016-Jun-28

In-house counsel at an Association of Corporate Counsel conference Thursday acknowledged that even if they haven't created formal legal operations roles, they are all using legal ops techniques to decide which law firms to hire. At the ACC’s second Legal Operations Conference — the first brought the inception of the ACC Legal Operations organization — Catherine Moynihan, the ACC’s senior director of legal management services, spoke Thursday of the way ACC members have responded to last year’s launch and rallying cry. They’ve begun new working groups and initiatives to devise and share new ways to optimize the procurement and management of legal services as well as their own operations in-house. [Law360 Subscription Required]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

No More Steak Dinners For BigLaw As GCs Turn To Legal Ops

Posted: 2016-Jun-28

The days of wooing clients over dinners and rounds of golf are on the wane, according to the legal operations professionals with growing clout in the corporate in-house world. Under their leadership, law departments are adopting objective measures that take the emotion out of the hiring and firing of law firms and also provide a foundation for internal upgrades on both sides of the relationship. At a Thursday session of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s second annual Legal Operations Conference in Chicago, GlaxoSmithKline PLC associate general counsel Robert Harchut set the tone by playing a clip from Jefferson Airplane: “Look what’s happening out in the streets: Got a revolution.” While the revolution may not yet be industrywide, GSK, BMO Financial Group and Microsoft Corp. are three companies moving it along steadily by adopting new ways to assess, engage and pay outside counsel. [Law360 Subscription Required]   Full Story

Disruption? More Like Incremental Change for Big Law (Perspective)

Posted: 2016-Jun-20

The legal media has lately had a mania for tech headlines. Many commentators claim that tech, especially artificial intelligence (AI), will do something to Big Law. I disagree. Tech more likely will do something in it: incremental change. I start with the case against disruption, then look at four headline-grabbing technologies: AI, Bots, Big Data, and Blockchain. Many commentators who forecast Big Law disruption seldom explain just how and why it will occur. So I felt the need to bring some sober thinking to what’s actually likely. I hope my conclusions are wrong — that would please me. Perspective of Ron Friedmann, Fireman & Company   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Global In-house: What Do People In Your Legal Function Do?

Posted: 2016-Jun-20

Many global corporate legal functions today aspire to transform. They want to adopt new technologies to work smarter, and handle growing demand without headcount growth. They want to transform in order to be better business partners, to cut costs, to align better with corporate growth strategy, to rethink sourcing, to better serve business growth in new markets. One of the first steps on the transformation path sounds almost ridiculously basic, but you can't go far without it. What do people in your in-house legal function currently do? How do they spend their days? Having the answers will be a key input in guiding how your legal function may want to change. Advice from Leigh Dance, ELD International.    Full Story

Spend Management

Associate Raises Drop Jaws In-House; Clients Say Firms Raise Salaries At Their Own Peril

Posted: 2016-Jun-17

The reaction to the recent wave of law firm associate salary raises was swift among the cohort of corporate legal departments that have been most active in pushing back against law firm rates and billing practices.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Companies Are Turning to E-Discovery Technology for Global Compliance Investigations

Posted: 2016-Jun-16

As nations intensify their enforcement of anticorruption laws, multinational corporations face enormous civil and criminal financial risk.Given the stakes, it is little wonder that corporations are placing an urgent priority on compliance, implementing measures to prevent FCPA problems from ever arising and to weed them out quickly when they do.    Full Story

Spend Management

New Deloitte Study Reveals Increased Appetite for Alternative Legal Services – And New Partnership Shows It

Posted: 2016-Jun-16

With the results of a just released study, Future Trends for Legal Services, Deloitte argues that the legal market continues to expand and shift; that legal services buyers are re-evaluating their spend and their range of suppliers; and that demand for non-traditional providers is on the upswing.   Full Story

Contract Management

Contract Maturity Model (Part 2): Technology Assembly Line — from Active to Passive Systems

Posted: 2016-Jun-16

This post examines the future of contracting platforms focuses on the technology systems designed to streamline contract tasks. Over the next few years, applications will likely evolve from point solutions — automating particular tasks — to fully integrated platforms enabling a contract automation assembly line, orchestrating all phases of the contract lifecycle. The overall trend is to introduce more standardized procedures and then to integrate such standards across all systems both internal and external.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

How Wells Fargo Onboarded 25 GE Capital Lawyers

Posted: 2016-Jun-16

In March, Wells Fargo closed a deal to purchase more than $27 billion in assets from GE Capital, including $24 billion in loans: the lion’s share of a $31 billion acquisition set to finalize by the end of the year, according to Wells Fargo. The bank’s GC James Strother said about 40 or 50 different lawyers in his department have worked on the acquisition, first announced last October. Mayer Brown has been advising Wells Fargo on the deal. The merger brings over from GE 2,800 employees, including 25 new lawyers. Asked about the challenges of bringing in new personnel, Strother said he uses a “buddy system.” “We just line up each new person with somebody that’s here, so that they can get questions answered, and quickly understand how we like to do things,” Strother said.   Full Story

Spend Management

Future Trends for Legal Services

Posted: 2016-Jun-16

In a growing market, purchasing patterns for legal services are changing. In-house teams are looking for pragmatic, industry specialists who are tech savvy and can offer more than traditional legal advice. Research consisted of 243 web-based surveys and 30 long-form qualitative interviews. Data was collected between September 2015 and February 2016. Provides link to download the report.   Full Story

ACC Legal Ops Observer - June Issue

Posted: 2016-Jun-15

This issue includes articles on a new matter coding system for value-based fees proposed by Bob Harchut of GSK (a project of the ACC-LO Metrics & Analytics IG), how to make the case for attending legal ops and discovery conferences, program highlights of the upcoming ACC-LO annual conference, and a provocative introduction to an article series on getting more value from vendors.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

5 Legal Departments Leading the Way on Diversity

Posted: 2016-Jun-10

The Minority Corporate Counsel Association unveiled on June 9 the winners of its Employer of Choice Awards, which recognizes legal departments that are leading the way in promoting diversity. This year's winners are Bank of America Corp., Exelon Corp., Kellogg Co., Home Depot Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Compliance Problems Climb With Companies' Rate Of Change

Posted: 2016-Jun-09

Compliance shortfalls increase at companies that have experienced organizational change such as expansions, mergers or turnover in the leadership ranks, according to a new business ethics survey of workers in 13 countries. The Ethics & Compliance Initiative’s inaugural Global Business Ethics Survey identified four compliance shortfalls that serve as measuring sticks for a company’s overall integrity. Within healthy corporate cultures that prioritize compliance, employees are less likely to feel pressure to compromise standards, to observe misconduct, to report observed misconduct and to be retaliated against for reporting misconduct. All four factors rose sharply in line with the number of major shakeups an organization was experiencing, according to the responses of 13,046 employees in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the U.S. [Law360 subscription required]    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

In-House Teams Are Voting With Their Feet — And Then Some

Posted: 2016-Jun-09

The client centricity of corporate legal departments, coupled with their understanding of the client’s business and DNA, set them apart from law firms. And so too does their rewards structure; corporate lawyers have a long-term financial interest in the enterprise while most law firm partners don’t. That’s another reason why corporate legal departments, not law firms, are driving innovation in the corporate segment of the market. And they are not only voting with their feet but also taking strides toward replacing the partnership model that many of them came from. [Law360 Subscription Required]   Full Story

Spend Management

The 2016 Innovation Awards: LDO Director of the Year, Mary Shen O'Carroll, Google

Posted: 2016-Jun-09

Google's Head of Legal Operations talks finding the optimum balance between cost, quality and speed, and what's ahead for department operations    Full Story

Spend Management

The 2016 Innovation Awards: Shell Oil, In-House Innovator of the Year

Posted: 2016-Jun-09

Shell's internal auditing and scrutiny of fee arrangements helped the legal department better integrate itself into business processes    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

How GCs Can Keep Their Best Lawyers From Walking

Posted: 2016-Jun-08

Turnover is part of in-house life for reasons that are often outside general counsels' control, but in spite of the challenges, they can take some steps to hold onto their best employees. Here's how to keep corporate counsel happy and minimize the likelihood they'll jump ship. Be Clear About Advancement Limitations; Give Them Interesting Work; Create Inroads to the Business; Pay Attention to Work-Life Balance; Support Their Moves and Careers. [Law360 Subscription Required]   Full Story

Contract Management

Perspective: In Legal Sphere, Data Isn’t Big, It’s Narrow and Knowable

Posted: 2016-Jun-03

Legal contracts define pretty much every detail of pretty much every relationship held by every company in the world. Our contracts know everything and so we spend inconceivable hours and dollars negotiating them, just to tuck them away somewhere dark and rarely look at them again. But consider the data locked away in those contracts. What could be more valuable? Want to know if your company has exposure to a product, country, company or event? Check. Want to know how many customer relationships expire next year and how that compares to prior years? Got it. Need to understand how service-level obligations or entitlements impact margin as circumstances change? Yep. [The author of this post is the chief executive and founder of an alternative legal services provider. By Mark Harris, CEO, Axiom]   Full Story

Spend Management

Hidden Compliance Threats to Outside Counsel Guidelines

Posted: 2016-Jun-02

To protect businesses and ensure compliance with internal budgets, data privacy, security requirements and other legal statutes, corporate legal departments often require outside law firms to agree to stringent outside counsel guidelines. These were originally established to control legal costs and are one of the ways in-house counsel maintain control of outside firms. However, how can corporate counsel be sure that these guidelines are adhered to within a law firm environment? This article addresses some of the inherent challenges.    Full Story

Spend Management

2016 Law Firms In Transition Survey Report

Posted: 2016-Jun-01

Now in its eighth year, Altman Weil’s Law Firms in Transition Survey continues to document market forces that are reshaping the competitive legal landscape, identify ways in which law firms have responded (or are lagging in their response), and prescribe how law firm leaders can find competitive advantages in a redefined marketplace. The most immediate threat is coming from law firms’ own clients. Sixty-eight percent of firms report they have already lost business to corporate law departments in-sourcing more work, and another 24% perceive this phenomenon as a potential threat. Clients’ use of technology that reduces the need for lawyers and paralegals is considered a current threat in 21% of firms and a possible future threat in another 53% of law firms. Larger firms were much more likely to be affected by these competitive threats than smaller firms. Individual law firms may or may not be in transition, but clearly the market is changing around them. Firms are faced with an evolving competitive landscape and shrinking or shifting demand. Any firm that is not actively planning to meet these challenges ignores them at its peril.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Corporate Counsel: Consumer Becomes Provider (The Sequel)

Posted: 2016-Jun-01

Recently, Mark Cohen wrote an article analyzing the principal reasons why corporate legal departments are taking on so much more work themselves instead of outsourcing it to law firms. This is, of course, an ominous sign for law firms and the traditional partnership structure. So too is disaggregation and the emergence of legal service providers as well as others – notably the Big Four – poised to enter the gargantuan legal services market. Some companies have taken the transition from legal consumer/provider to another level. These companies have spun off their corporate legal departments and have turned them into businesses that initially service the parent but are intended to then ply their competitive advantage in the broader marketplace. This has profound implications for legal delivery as well as how- and for whom- lawyers will be working.   Full Story

Contract Management

Contract Maturity Model (Part 1): From One-Off Contracting to Portfolio Management

Posted: 2016-Jun-01

This is the first in a series of three articles by Kingsley Martin examining how contract creation is evolving to meet the needs of modern business. This initial post examines the major drivers of change and predicts future states through the lens of a contract maturity model.    Full Story

Spend Management

A New Role Bridging Business and Legal at Shell

Posted: 2016-May-31

For most of recorded history, law departments have been run almost exclusively by lawyers. But as the operations of large law departments mature to reflect the sophisticated businesses they serve, allied professionals play an increasingly prominent role in meeting the challenges of scale and scope. Yet creating, let alone filling and integrating, roles suited to allied professionals is not an easy task. There are few precedents and points of reference for those with legal training as they try to envision a role for which legal training is, by definition, not the main qualification. Fortunately, the lawyers are not alone. Shell legal already operates in an environment that necessitates cross-functional collaboration. In creating the role of Global Sourcing Officer (GSO), Shell legal worked closely with Shell human resources to transform a genuine but inchoate need into a properly defined role for which real human beings were qualified and in which qualified candidates were interested.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Preparing For the Breach: A Look Into Essential Cyber IG Practices

Posted: 2016-May-31

It's a situation every attorney dreads: You are sitting at your computer on what seems like a normal day, when suddenly the screen goes blank, replaced by a notice that your files are being held ransom or your most valuable data has been stolen out of your system. In the immediate aftershock, myriad questions can run through your mind. But none is perhaps more important, more pressing, than—what's next? The answer, explains Jake Frazier, senior managing director at FTI Consulting, depends largely on what has come before.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

OnRamp Program for Women Expands In-House

Posted: 2016-May-26

OnRamp Fellowship, a program from the organization Diversity Lab that helps women returning to law and finance jobs after a career break, is expanding from law firms to legal departments. On May 25, OnRamp, in partnership with the Association of Corporate Counsel, announced the launch of OnRamp In-House. Women with at least three years of legal experience and who have taken a hiatus for at least two years are eligible to apply. The women selected will participate in a one-year, paid fellowship with a participating law department and they will also receive career counseling and training in negotiations, project management, and other skills.    Full Story

GC Perspective on Legal Operations

Posted: 2016-May-25

According to an ACC survey of corporate general counsel offices released in January 2016, more and more in-house legal departments are bringing in legal operations staff to help their offices work more efficiently and successfully. Nearly 50 percent of the in-house departments surveyed said they had at least one person assigned to legal operations, a remarkable increase from 2015, when the figure was just 20 percent.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

4 Ways Millennials Will Change Law Departments

Posted: 2016-May-25

As millennials graduate from BigLaw training grounds and take jobs with corporate legal departments, their employers and outside counsel will have to adjust to the next generation of the in-house bar. Here’s how things might change. The Hiring Process Will Evolve; They’ll Be Harder to Retain; They’re Motivated Differently; They Have Different Expectations for Outside Counsel. [Law360 Subscription Required]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Key to Developing Discovery and Operations Leaders

Posted: 2016-May-24

Need some pointers when making the case to attend conferences? Here's a cogent case for investing in conference participation from a legal ops professional who has, as most do, learned on the job and through her peer network. Given that no credentialing program exists, there's a school of thought that general counsel should insist that their legal ops and litigation support professionals attend relevant professional and industry conferences to build a learning and benchmarking network. Congrats and thanks to ACC Legal Ops member Julie Richer, who authored this cover article for ACCDocket.com on the ROI for conference participation.   Full Story

Spend Management

How To Compete With Corporate Law Departments

Posted: 2016-May-24

General counsels are increasingly bringing more work in-house, a trend experts say creates the need for law firms to not only compete with one another, but with their own clients. Forty percent of legal decision makers in a recent survey by Altman Weil Inc. said that they plan to reduce external spending in the next year, and 76 percent of those planned to do it by handling more work internally. Since that study was published in November, a number of major corporations have revealed plans to reduce their reliance on outside counsel, including Shell, which said in April that it would slash its team of law firms from 11 to six. Experts say the services that firms currently deliver to their corporate clients are "increasingly irrelevant," and, according to the Altman Weil study, firms have failed to show a commitment to changing the existing client service delivery model. [Law360 - Subscription required]   Full Story

Spend Management

M&A Surges, Outside Hiring Cools: ELM Trend 2015 Year-End Highlights

Posted: 2016-May-24

Mergers & Acquisition activity is often subject to big ebbs and flows. And, that’s what we are seeing now. While Q1 2016 is showing a rather quiet period for M&A, 2015 was a boom year for M&A according to the just-published CounselLink Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) Trends 2015 Year-End Report. This new report shows that that fees paid for M&A legal work more than doubled in 2015, with year- over-year increases since 2012. A majority of clients, 56% are also forgoing hiring new firms to handle their significant legal matters, according to the study. However, clients are willing to bring on new firms for two specific types of legal work—litigation and corporate.   Full Story

Spend Management

5 Ways Analytics in E-Discovery Can Drive Better Litigation Outcomes

Posted: 2016-May-24

After years of repeating the same e-discovery refrains – faster processing, cheaper review, better managed services – the industry conversation has moved into some new territory this year. One such conversation centers around the idea of viewing early case assessment as the key to the e-discovery workflow, a paradigm shift that is all about the need to gain a deeper vision into the evidence in a case as early as possible. We may well be in the early stages of staking out another important new frontier in our industry: the enormous untapped potential of advanced visual analytics in the e-discovery workflow.    Full Story

2016 Diversity Scorecard: How the Firms Rate

Posted: 2016-May-23

The American Lawyer's latest annual Diversity Scorecard found only modest increases in Big Law’s minority numbers. On average, 15 percent of attorneys working in Am Law 200 and NLJ 250 firms were minorities, while minority representation at individual firms ranged from 34.1 percent to just 3 percent.    Full Story

Spend Management

The Diversity Ghetto

Posted: 2016-May-23

If you're a woman or a minority member, you can probably recall at least one instance where a female or minority higher-up, whom you might have thought of as a potential mentor, treated you with disdain. Maybe you were shocked, even hurt, that someone of your own gender or ethnicity could be so cold. Well, get over it. Research by Stefanie Johnson and David Hekman of University of Colorado's business school finds that's there's a perfectly good reason why women and minorities aren't helping their own: They get penalized when they promote diversity. (The study surveyed 350 executives about their attitudes on diversity, then analyzed how their bosses rated their performance.)    Full Story

Spend Management

Perspective: Why Big Law Firms Are Succeeding in a Buyer’s Market

Posted: 2016-May-23

An opinion piece from Stephen Poor, chair emeritus of Seyfarth Shaw."There are firms genuinely trying to change and adapt their business model to succeed in a different world. There are others who may not be altering their business models but at least are attempting to bring some elements of new service delivery to the market. These may be bandages but they are a start. And, of course, most firms either do not see the need to change or are challenged in finding the right path for that change. Nevertheless, as a general proposition, my belief is that the gap between the goals of savvy legal departments and the industry remains wide – despite all the talk about 'innovation.'"   Full Story

Spend Management

Perspective: What if Facts Got a Whole Lot Cheaper?

Posted: 2016-May-20

Expensive justice often means no justice. Defendants suffer when plaintiffs leverage the high cost of litigation to extract larger settlements. Would-be plaintiffs suffer when meritorious claims are never pursued because it’s just too expensive. In both cases, an expensive legal system imposes real social costs — and the legal system is more expensive than ever before.   Full Story

ACC Legal Ops Observer - May Issue

Posted: 2016-May-19

The latest newsletter includes perspective on the legal COO role from one incumbent, Bruce Goldberg of Allstate, as well as from a couple of GCs; a roundup of activities within the ACC Legal Ops section and highlights from recent news items that are especially relevant to legal ops professionals.   Full Story

The Debate Over Non-Lawyer Firm Ownership Is Officially Closed, For Now

Posted: 2016-May-18

There was no funeral, but the prospect that the American Bar Association would consider non-lawyer ownership of firms at its annual meeting this summer has quietly died. The ABA’s House of Delegates needed to see a formal proposal on so-called “alternative business structures,” which allow non-lawyer ownership, by May 10. Alas, the Commission on the Future of the Legal Profession, the ABA group in charge of the debate over ABS, allowed the deadline to pass without submitting anything.   Full Story

Why Law Is The Least Diverse Profession

Posted: 2016-May-18

The legal industry remains by some measures the least diverse profession in the U.S., proving resistant to broader demographic shifts despite a generation of workplace diversity initiatives and more than two decades of top-tier law schools graduating a growing number of minority attorneys. Data from the latest economic survey done by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that 81 percent of legal industry employees are white, making it the least diverse among white-collar professions tracked by the agency, including engineering, architecture and financial services. While the problem is certainly bigger than BigLaw, diversity experts point to a few key factors that have kept scores of law firm diversity initiatives from gaining traction, including forces that contribute to poor retention of minorities by law firms and downward spiral in the diversity numbers due to the impression that talented people should look elsewhere if they want to have opportunities for advancement.   Full Story

Spend Management

Are women GCs more conscious of the value, cost of legal services?

Posted: 2016-May-18

Gender drives different buying behaviours in-house, according to a new survey that looks at the influence diversity has on the legal market, and the gap in pay for women. The Acritas Diversity Report released last week found a definite difference in how men and women choose legal service providers for different reasons. The survey of 1,771 senior in-house counsel found that overall male general counsel get paid more than female general counsel, and that male GCs spend more on legal services than female GCs.   Full Story

Spend Management

Task codes and budgeting: What works and what doesn’t (Part 2 of 7)

Posted: 2016-May-18

The first conclusion from our interviews with the twelve experts listed in Part 1 was: Use standard UTBMS codes whenever possible. One of the challenges in working with task codes is that the original UTBMS committee developed just four sets of codes: litigation, bankruptcy, counseling, and “project codes” for transactional work. Later committees issued several revisions and also approved new codesets. The UTBMS webpage currently also includes codes and standards for eDiscovery, governance risk and compliance, intellectual property, workers’ compensation, and mergers and acquisitions. The last of these codesets was developed by the ABA Task Force on Legal Project Management and approved by the LEDES Oversight Committee in February 2016.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

General counsel get tapped more for business and strategic advice

Posted: 2016-May-16

The general counsel is being looked upon increasingly for strategic and business advice—not just legal advice, according to a survey of corporate directors and executive officers. The survey, The Rise of the GC: From Legal Advisor to Strategic Advisor, points out that in “an increasingly litigious corporate environment, it is no longer acceptable to have GCs wait on the sidelines in the event an incident occurs; rather, it is now critical to utilize their full business and legal acumen to propel the organization forward, make risk-aware decisions, and help management build strategies for success.”   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Does your company have cyber-insurance?

Posted: 2016-May-16

There are increasing reasons that companies need to review insurance coverage for cyber-attacks—or get their first cyber insurance policy if not already in place. One recent estimate cited by ALM Legal Intelligence said that the average total cost of a single cyber-attack is $6.5 million. “The amount is large,” Ken Kronstadt, an attorney at Kelley Drye & Warren, told InsideCounsel. “The sticker price can be a little bit shocking.”   Full Story

Spend Management

ACC: These 12 Law Departments Do It Better, Faster, Cheaper

Posted: 2016-May-13

The Association of Corporate Counsel named the winners of its annual “value challenge” competition on Wednesday, which included 12 corporate legal departments and three Big Law firms It’s the fifth time the ACC, which has more than 40,000 members worldwide and describes itself as “the in-house counsel bar association,” has given out the prizes. ACC president and CEO Veta Richardson said this year’s winners were chosen from a list of 57 nominees by GCs and associate GCs at companies that have won the award previously. Below are some examples.   Full Story

Spend Management

Has the juice been squeezed from BigLaw’s business model?

Posted: 2016-May-13

Central to the profitability of the ‘BigLaw’ business model is how rainmaking equity partners, i.e. the owners, win work for the firm and enlist other fee-earners to do the bulk of this work. Since the 1950s, this model has been hugely successful, both in serving clients and making a great deal of money for owners. However, the capacity to exploit this business model has a ceiling; and this appears to be fast approaching.    Full Story

Spend Management

Announcing the 2016 ACC Value Champions

Posted: 2016-May-12

Congratulations to the 2016 ACC Value Champions and special kudos to ACC Legal Ops members Lucy Bassli of Microsoft, Molly Tynan Perry of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Audrey Rubin of Aon - improving costs, predictability and outcomes. The 2016 Champions take proactive approaches to the hallmark areas of corporate legal work, including discovery, contracting and procurement, employment law and patent protection. They have simplified processes to reduce cycle time while improving quality. And the winning legal departments and law firms, aligned through value-based fees, collaborate to reduce litigation and empower business units through automation to get legal answers and documents in real time.   Full Story

Spend Management

How 12 GCs Saved Their Companies Millions

Posted: 2016-May-12

The measures adopted by the 2016 Association of Corporate Counsel Value Champions, announced Wednesday, are models for how law departments can cut costs and boost productivity. But the stunning takeaway from the honorees’ experiences are the results they were able to accomplish. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Corporate Counsel: Consumer Becomes Provider

Posted: 2016-May-12

Deftly summarizing the current state of affairs in the legal services industry, in which demand for law firm services is flat while many corporate departments are hiring and taking on more and more work once outsourced to law firms, Mark Cohen’s analysis in Law360 goes on to explain that, “it’s more than rates; the beef is increasingly casting a harsh light on lawyer structure and function issues.” The article’s focus, however, is on exploring the competitive advantages of legal departments over law firms in serving business clients, including being better positioned to collaborate and become business partners and to match global growth. Cohen points also to the growth in prestige for top in-house lawyers and the contribution of legal operations. “Corporate legal departments have created legal operations teams to address the integration of technology and business process/project management to legal delivery. Corporate departments are generally ahead of firms in structuring their delivery as an amalgam of legal expertise, IT, and process management. And that is central to why they have morphed from legal consumers to legal providers.”   Full Story

Spend Management

GCs Spend More With Diverse Legal Teams, Study Finds

Posted: 2016-May-12

Gender-diverse legal teams are preferred by clients and perform better, according to a global survey of corporate general counsel released Thursday, which also found corporate clients tend to spend 25 percent more money with diverse teams. A legal diversity survey carried out by U.K.-based law research firm Acritas found that in-house legal teams considered by clients to be “very diverse” ultimately receive 25 percent more of their corporate clients' legal spending, compared to teams that are viewed as “not at all diverse,” or made up of strictly male attorneys.   Full Story

Spend Management

GCs Spend More on Diverse Legal Teams, Survey Finds

Posted: 2016-May-12

Diversity pays off for law firms, a new global survey of corporate general counsel has found. Very diverse legal teams get 25 percent more of clients’ total legal spending than teams that are not at all diverse, according to a survey by Acritas Research Ltd., a marketing research company based in the United Kingdom.Based on 1,771 interviews with senior-in-house counsel around the world, the report found that only about a quarter of legal teams used by clients are diverse, but those teams account for a larger share of clients’ legal spending. They also get higher performance ratings, and they’re more likely to be recommended to clients’ peers than non diverse teams. The survey respondents defined diversity primarily in terms of gender, but also according to race and ethnicity, nationality, LGBT identification, age and years of experience.   Full Story

Spend Management

It's Time to Remodel Your Outside Counsel Management

Posted: 2016-May-12

In a wide-ranging study of the relationships between corporate counsel and their law firms, CEB found that corporate counsel tend to focus on the relationship with their law firms without putting enough energy into providing explicit instructions on how to do the actual work. The same study found that firms managed this way were ineffective, providing too much work that missed the target and billing too many hours to unnecessary projects. Conversely, the minority of corporate counsel who provided their law firms with clear guidance on how to produce the work had far happier relationships with their law firms. And, no surprise, the firms spent less time, and billed fewer hours, to get more on-target work done.   Full Story

Spend Management

Task codes and budgeting: What works and what doesn’t (Part 1 of 7)

Posted: 2016-May-11

This is one of the longest series of posts in the eleven year history of this blog, because there is currently so much controversy about the best uses of task codes. This series of posts summarizes new conclusions and recommendations based on our experience working with lawyers in numerous firms, on published reports by a number of experts, and on interviews we recently conducted with 12 experts who have had significant experience using task codes to plan and track legal budgets.   Full Story

Missing Headline: Law Firms Tackle Client Disaffection

Posted: 2016-May-10

Legal delivery has come full circle. Decades ago, the attorney-client relationship was personal, and client satisfaction was paramount. Then, as law firms grew and PPP became the primary measure of their success, client satisfaction became less of a focus. But now, in a buyer’s market with lots of competition – among law firms and from other provider sources – client satisfaction is again the priority. Law firms would do well to ask what differentiated services (or products) they can offer clients; how best to deliver them; and measure achievement of client objectives and satisfaction. That’s a basic game plan in customer service but one that seems to have been lost over time by many law firms.   Full Story

AI Pioneer ROSS Intelligence Lands Its First Big Law Clients

Posted: 2016-May-09

In the latest sign that the use of artificial intelligence may eventually become common in Big Law, Baker & Hostetler has emerged as the first law firm to make public that it has licensed the artificial intelligence product developed by ROSS Intelligence for bankruptcy matters.    Full Story

The Reemergence of the Big Four in Law

Posted: 2016-May-06

Key"Take-away" from the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession: In the 1990s, the major accounting firms mounted a major campaign to capture a significant part of the legal services market around the world. After the accounting scandals in 2001 and the resulting regulation prohibiting auditors from providing legal and other nonaudit services to their audit clients, most practitioners and commentators assumed that these ambitions were dead. However, over the last decade the Big Four accounting firms have quietly rebuilt their legal networks, integrating these services into a new model of “globally integrated business solutions,” and aggressively promoting this model in important emerging economies in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Recent trends toward relaxing restrictions against “alternative business structures” and “multidisciplinary practice” are likely to accelerate the growth of the Big Four’s legal networks.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

No Longer Just For Firms, Timekeeping Can Pay Off For GCs

Posted: 2016-May-04

It's a truth universally acknowledged that when lawyers go in-house, they get to leave behind the tedious law firm practice of tracking their hours — but things are changing. In a metrics-driven world, many law departments are finding value in introducing timekeeping to their in-house counsel. Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is 14 weeks into a time study of 600 in-house legal professionals worldwide who are now recording their hours as they would in a law firm. [Law360 - subscription]   Full Story

Spend Management

How GCs Decide Who Gets the Work

Posted: 2016-Apr-25

An inside counsel revolution of increasing scope and power has transformed business and law over the past 30-plus years in two important ways. Inside the corporation, the general counsel has often replaced the law firm senior partner as the primary counselor for the CEO and board of directors on core issues such as compliance, governance and risk. The GC's stature is now comparable to the chief financial officer's because the health of the corporation requires that it navigate complex and fast-changing law, regulation, politics and more across the globe. Outside the corporation, the GC's role has also grown in importance, with a significant shift in power from outside law firms to inside law departments over matters and money. Ben Heineman, former GC of GE, provides five considerations that GCs take into account as they allocate resources across diverse corporate issues. "Law firms are important, but only part of the analysis, especially if their economic models stubbornly continue to focus on law firm goals—rather than client goals—and if their vision is too narrow to help the general counsel fulfill her role in top management."    Full Story

Spend Management

Shell Legal – People as a Bridge from Data to Information

Posted: 2016-Apr-25

In the beginning was the data. Lots and lots of idle data. As detailed in the last article in this series, embarking on a panel review for Shell, one of the largest corporations in the world, meant diving into the voluminous data on pre-existing arrangements. The first step was to get a handle on the data. But, surprising for what might appear to be a spreadsheet-intensive process, the second step was to talk to actual human beings to help turn that data into information — i.e., information being data organized in a way that's useful for decision making. Just as critical, step three was to prove to those people that while the panel review will alter the status quo, it is a benefit, not a threat, to their vital interests.   Full Story

Perspective: For Law Firms, Diversity Is A Matter of Choice

Posted: 2016-Apr-22

A stirring piece from Stephen Poor, Chair Emeritus of Seyfarth Shaw commenting on a generation lost to myopic insistence on the status quo and making specific suggestions for institutional change.    Full Story

Spend Management

AFAs Now Dominate A Third Of Firm Spending

Posted: 2016-Apr-22

With the average client now reportedly saving $2.7 million through alternative fee arrangements, it's easy to see why AFA-based outside counsel spending has grown at a steady, 19.8 percent clip since 2012, accounting for over a third of law firm spending last year. [Law360]   Full Story

Knowledge Management

How KM can deliver the wow factor!

Posted: 2016-Apr-21

Legal KM is looking for continuous improvement and broadening its focus to help deliver the ‘Wow factor’ that differentiates them from the competition. This review is a snapshot of a highly interactive event – bringing together knowledge professionals from law firms and corporate legal teams across Europe to share ideas and insights. Just found this conference round-up from Feb 2015 and thought it worth posting.    Full Story

Contract Management

Register for the Contract Management Systems Webinar on May 12th

Posted: 2016-Apr-21

The Tools and Technology Interest Group is presenting a conference call/webinar for all ACC Legal Operations members to discuss contract management systems; both experiences with existing tools as well as a discussion about companies trying to bring in new CM solutions. Hosted by Kedric Chamberlin of Abbott Laboratories, among the companies that will be sharing their contract management stories are Abbott, Pfizer, Microsoft, Gilead and Lonza. The webinar will be on Thursday, May 12th – 3:00 p.m. (EST), 2:00 p.m. (CST), 1:00 p.m. (MST), 12:00 (PST). In advance of the webinar, please take a few minutes to complete the Benchmarking Survey (http://freeonlinesurveys.com/s/ws8tCrxl). After the webinar, all participants in the Benchmarking survey will receive a summary of the feedback. Please direct any questions to lawdepartmentops@acc.com.    Full Story

Spend Management

AFAs Soar to an All-Time High

Posted: 2016-Apr-21

The votes are in. Clients are loving AFAs. And we’ve got the data* to show just how much: Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs) now account for $21.3 billion of outside counsel spending in 2015, up from $13.1 billion in 2013. AFAs are the biggest growth market around—registering a 19.8% compound annual growth rate for the last 3 years.   Full Story

Spend Management

Insurers Are Embracing Alternative Fee Arrangements

Posted: 2016-Apr-21

Property and casualty (P&C) insurers are embracing alternative fee arrangements, according to a LexisNexis CounselLink survey. The survey found that 77 percent of P&C insurance carriers in the U.S. are using AFAs. In August 2015, the last time the survey was conducted, that number was 69 percent.    Full Story

Wall Street Firms Among Toughest For Female Partners

Posted: 2016-Apr-20

Wall Street firms are notorious for keeping their partner ranks trim, but climbing to that top rung remains even more challenging for women, with less than 4 percent of female attorneys at those firms defying the odds to make the cut, a Law360 study found. While female attorneys account for 37 percent of all Wall Street attorneys and female nonpartners account for 42 percent of all nonpartners — which sits close to the respective overall percentages — the share of female partners at Wall Street firms remained well below the overall average in 2015, Law360's Glass Ceiling report found.   Full Story

Spend Management

Another [Client-Focused] Take On Reed Smith, Pepper Hamilton Merger Talks

Posted: 2016-Apr-19

Talk is cheap unless it is with a lawyer. Or when two large law firms are engaged in merger talks. And though not all merger discussions result in deals (witness the recent cessation of discussions between Greenberg Traurig LLP and Berwin Leighton Paisner), it’s certainly newsworthy to cover them. And the ongoing courtship between Reed Smith LLP and Pepper Hamilton LLP has received its fair share of press coverage. Most of the press has focused on the “what if?” question — if the two firms were to effect a merger (and that term is used synonymously here with “acquisition”), they would create yet another megafirm with the largest headcount of U.S. lawyers. But the more interesting question is, “What is accomplished?” and, to put a finer point on that, “What benefit would clients derive from the Reed/Pepper merger or, for that matter, any other large firm tie-up? [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Spend Management

Shell scraps 97 per cent of global panel

Posted: 2016-Apr-19

Royal Dutch Shell has dramatically scaled back its global legal panel, with just six firms making the cut out of an original field of 250. The oil giant's first panel review in three years has seen its list of preferred legal advisers slashed from triple to single digits, with just six firms chosen to sit on the global panel for the next four years commencing in May. Allen & Overy, Baker & Mackenzie, Clifford Chance, Eversheds, Norton Rose Fulbright and Reed Smith are the only firms to have endured through the review, with a further 244 firms failing to secure renewed spots.   Full Story

Unified Patent Court Means Big Changes for Europe — and the World

Posted: 2016-Apr-18

It took almost 40 years, but Europe’s Unified Patent Court finally seems close to becoming a reality. The new court, which is expected to launch by mid-2017, will serve as a single patent court covering 25 countries and more than 400 million people. It could mean big changes not only for Europe, but for U.S. patent litigation and for corporations that do business around the globe. “The size of the jurisdiction by GDP is huge – it’s a patent jurisdiction that equates with the U.S.,” says Alastair McCulloch, a partner with Jones Day who is based in London. “Europe may not displace America in the patent world, but it could change the balance and the interplay of patent disputes between the two.”    Full Story

The Conflict Heard Around The World

Posted: 2016-Apr-18

Dentons does everything in an outsized way. And while the steady stream of news it creates often involves an acquisition, this time it’s a lawsuit. The firm and two of its partners are Defendants in a recently filed legal malpractice action. It’s a case that is being watched closely in the legal industry because its outcome could have far-reaching ramifications for the Swiss verein structure that has helped fuel the expansion of Dentons and other mega firms including DLA Piper and Hogan Lovells. Swiss verein law firms — and their clients — are no doubt reevaluating the merits of a structure that has fueled growth but has significantly increased the potential for catastrophic conflicts. In a buyer’s market where client-centricity is (and should be) paramount, this is another big challenge for mega firms and a reason for clients to think twice before retaining them.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Why GCs Want To Test Your Tech Skills

Posted: 2016-Apr-18

Mastering the software you use every day can make a big difference when it comes to conquering more with less, cutting client costs and increasing law firm profits. That’s the premise behind legal technology training programs, which are giving attorneys a crash course in the technologies they think they know and clients a new metric to assess outside counsel performance.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Why GCs Want To Test Your Tech Skills

Posted: 2016-Apr-18

Mastering the software you use every day can make a big difference when it comes to conquering more with less, cutting client costs and increasing law firm profits. That’s the premise behind legal technology training programs, which are giving attorneys a crash course in the technologies they think they know and clients a new metric to assess outside counsel performance. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

The Glass Ceiling Report

Posted: 2016-Apr-17

For the third straight year, law firms have made negligible progress toward gender equality, according to a review of Law360's annual headcount surveys of more than 300 firms over the past few years. Women have made up close to 50 percent of graduates from U.S. law schools for the past decade and now comprise nearly 48 percent of summer associates, according to the most recent statistics compiled by the American Bar Association. But the percentage of female attorneys employed at every level of the legal industry remains firmly stuck where it has been for the past few years, Law360 found.   Full Story

Perspective: Law Firms Must Adapt to Market Segmentation

Posted: 2016-Apr-15

Perspective from a consultant to law firms with Deloitte, pointing out that work within any law firm can be segmented by the nature of the work. Across the suite of services they offer, there is a mix of work and activities, with the content and splits varying by the area of the law, the nature of the matter, nuances of the industry, and the firm’s capabilities. The law firm of the future recognizes what it does best and for whom. It segments its services and fees by the nature of the work.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Perspective: Technology Brings a New Definition of Competency

Posted: 2016-Apr-13

One of the trends in legal ethics over the past decade is the recognition of a duty of technological competence. Historically, the concept of a “competent” attorney primarily focused on a lawyer’s knowledge of a substantive area of the law coupled with his or her experience and ability to represent a client in a particular engagement. Technology’s impact on the legal profession has rendered this historical view of competence outdated. The 2012 amendments to the ABA’s Model Rules confirmed that a lawyer’s duty of competence requires keeping “abreast of changes in the law and its practice,” including the risks and benefits of relevant technology.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

5 Steps GCs Should Take To Increase Cybersecurity Defenses

Posted: 2016-Apr-13

When it comes to preparing for a cybersecurity attack or breach, there are at least five steps that in-house counsel should take internally — from hiring experts to forming ties with law enforcement — that can help set you on the right path when a crisis strikes, experts said Tuesday at an Association of Corporation Counsel panel. Data breach activity is on the rise, with 31 percent of in-house counsel having experienced a cybersecurity break-in, according to the ACC. With that in mind, general counsel at corporations need to be constantly thinking about the ways, big and small, that they can help prevent data breaches and ensure swift responses in the event of an attack. Get An In-House Attorney Expert; Start Training Employees and Have a Plan; Put A Cone Of Attorney Privilege On Cybersecurity Chatter; Form Relationships With Law Enforcement; Get Cybersecurity Insurance. [Law360}   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Talent Management: A Worthy Addition to Your Value Arsenal

Posted: 2016-Apr-12

Offices of General Counsel at companies nationwide have been focusing new or renewed attention to talent development practices within their legal departments. Many are motivated by such common drivers as difficulty finding qualified candidates and impending retirements. These leaders share a "build versus buy" mindset and have launched bold initiatives to change the way their departments attract, retain, and develop talent. Their organizations are finding that investments in talent management pay off in multiple areas: successful hiring, reduced attrition, deeper bench strength, improved employee morale, and loyalty, among others.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

In-House Counsel Have Long List of Info Gov Initiatives: Study

Posted: 2016-Apr-08

Amid the growing amount of data breaches comes greater focus on enterprise-wide information governance. From improving the legal hold process to securing sensitive data, in-house counsel certainly have their work cut out for them when it comes to building out their information governance strategies. Respondents of FTI Consulting’s 10th Advice from Counsel study of e-discovery and information governance (IG) trends listed over 30 information governance initiatives of organizations among the Fortune 1000, with data security ranking among their top priorities.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Get rid of the billable hour—but then what?

Posted: 2016-Apr-08

The billable hour is not the immediate cause of all that ails the legal industry. Freedom from the tyranny of the billable hour would be a fine start. But there is much more to do and discuss. For proof, look no further than law departments. Many corporate law departments suffer from the same pathologies as law firms despite having cast off the perverse incentives of compensable time sheets.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

GCs Struggle With Cloud Tech, Budget In Info Control: Survey

Posted: 2016-Apr-07

When it comes to information governance, in-house counsels are finding that some of their toughest challenges are data security issues tied to cloud-based programs and gaining budget transparency with the data management initiatives that are put in place, according to an FTI Consulting survey released on Wednesday. Legal departments take the lead in about 44 percent of information governance programs at corporations and are involved in 95 percent of programs, according to FTI’s survey on a group of in-house counsels from Fortune 1,000 companies. And right now, a majority say their top challenges include implementing data security measures, and 72 percent said they couldn’t quantify how much the company spends on information governance every year. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Majority of Corporations Use Outside Counsel for Privacy Issues, Survey Finds

Posted: 2016-Apr-07

A significant portion of corporations — 76 percent — employ outside counsel for privacy and data security matters, according to a Bloomberg Law/International Association of Privacy Professionals survey study released April 5. The survey report concluded, among other things, that: • a dedicated privacy team and subject matter experience are the most important qualities that companies look for in hiring outside counsel; • on average corporations spend nearly $170,000 annually on outside counsel handling privacy and data protection matters; and • outside privacy attorneys command high hourly rates, an average of $474 for transactional services, $539 for litigation and $623 for specialized privacy and data protection services.   Full Story

Spend Management

UK High Court Approves the Use of Predictive Coding in Litigation

Posted: 2016-Apr-07

The judgment, handed down by Master Matthews in Pyrrho Investments Ltd. v. MWB Property Ltd. [2016] EWHC 256 (Ch), gave official judicial authorization for the use of predictive coding in High Court proceedings. Summing up his decision, Master Matthews stated that predictive coding is just as accurate, if not more so than a manual review using keyword searches, mirroring the sentiments shared by Judge Peck’s 2012 opinion in Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe regarding the appropriateness of predictive coding and its potential benefits.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Study: Data Risk in the Third - Party Ecosystem

Posted: 2016-Apr-06

Report on the Data Risk in the Third - Party Ecosystem study, conducted to understand the challenges companies face in protecting sensitive and confidential information shared with third parties . Many companies have both direct and indirect relationships from 3rd parties, 4th parties to Nth1 parties that are important to fulfilling business functions or operations. The study reveals the difficulty companies have in mitigating, detecting and m inimizing risks associated with third parties that have access to their sensitive or confidential information.   Full Story

Spend Management

How Corporate Legal Can Predict a $1.3b Budget within $80k

Posted: 2016-Apr-06

Last year Bank of America predicted almost perfectly that its legal budget would be $1.3 billion, according to this recent post on LexisNexis’ Business of Law blog. How did BoA do it? Through fixed fees and what LexisNexis calls “the science of prediction.”    Full Story

Law Firms Show Lowest Commitment To Diversity: Survey

Posted: 2016-Apr-06

Law firms are perceived by the public as having the lowest commitment to hiring and keeping on diverse applicants among 11 industry groups, according to the results of a survey of more than 1,100 American adults released on Tuesday. Public perception of law firms’ work force diversity ranks it below average and lower than higher education, health care, restaurants, hotels, government, manufacturing, media, entertainment, finance and accounting, according to survey results released by Repass Research and McGinn & Co., a reputation management firm. Sixty-two percent of respondents said that a law firm that is committed to diversity will be more successful at attracting clients, the pollsters said. [Law360 - Subscription required]   Full Story

How artificial intelligence is transforming the legal profession

Posted: 2016-Apr-01

The future of the legal profession began 20 years ago. Artificial intelligence is changing the way lawyers think, the way they do business and the way they interact with clients. Artificial intelligence is more than legal technology. It is the next great hope that will revolutionize the legal profession. Change can be brought on through pushing existing ideas. What makes artificial intelligence stand out is the potential for a paradigm shift in how legal work is done. This ABA Journal cover story explores trends in AI in a variety of legal contexts, and provides background information.   Full Story

Blockchains: The Future of Recordkeeping?

Posted: 2016-Mar-31

So what is a "blockchain" (aka a "digital ledger")? The Vermont report described a blockchain as "an electronic ledger of digital records, events, or transactions that are cryptographically hashed, authenticated, and maintained through a 'distributed' or 'shared' network of participants using a group consensus protocol."The use of blockchains potentially is seen as a solution to guaranteeing the "authenticity" of digital records over time, "by confirming the party of parties submitting a record, the time and date of its submission, and the contents of the record at the time of submission," according to the Vermont report. On the other hand, the use of a blockchain does not eliminate the possibility that the record's contents are unreliable, i.e., contain errors. As the Vermont report notes, "[i]f a document containing false information is hashed as part of a properly formatted transaction, the network will validate it." For this and other reasons, the report ends up pointing to limitations in the technology, which may preclude wholesale adoption in the short-term future.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Threats of Litigation After Data Breaches at Major Law Firms

Posted: 2016-Mar-31

Reports on Wednesday that both Weil Gotshal & Manges and Cravath, Swaine & Moore as well as other firms have suffered data breaches in recent months, put new attention on the potential consequences for law firms with lax security.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Cravath Admits Breach as Law Firm Hacks Go Public

Posted: 2016-Mar-31

Also this week, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that dozens of law firms were targeted by a Russian hacker seeking information on M&A deals. The cybercriminal, going by the name of “Oleras,” was discovered soliciting help from other hackers to try to gain access to computer systems at 48 firms, nearly all of which are among The Am Law 100. When contacted by The American Lawyer, some firms said they became aware of the incident either in late 2015 or earlier this year.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Cybersecurity Frameworks Becoming the Norm, Survey Finds

Posted: 2016-Mar-30

A survey released on Tuesday suggests the federal government’s recommended framework for how companies can reduce their cybersecurity risk is gaining traction. Forty-three percent of the 338 respondents said that in the next year they will have adopted or plan to adopt the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s set of best practices known as the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. More companies are planning to adopt it than any other framework, although its overall rate of adoption may still be low.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Perspective: The Divide at the Heart of Legal Tech

Posted: 2016-Mar-30

When it comes to legal tech, knowing what you’re selling means understanding a complex activity – legal interpretation. There are a lot of different kinds of products that fall under the umbrella of legal tech, but the vast majority of them seek to improve the performance of legal services.There are a lot of different kinds of products that fall under the umbrella of legal tech, but the vast majority of them seek to improve the performance of legal services.Importantly, each of these companies contemplates a significant role for legal interpretation in their client services. Some seek to improve it, some seek to do it for you, and some seek to predict it. To know what they are selling, then, legal tech companies should understand legal interpretation, particularly its capacity to be improved. This is where things get tricky. The power and limits of legal interpretation have long been the subject of controversy.   Full Story

Stirring The Pot With Metrics

Posted: 2016-Mar-29

Perspective on using metrics to drive behavior from Sam Ranganathan, Sr. Director, Legal Operations for Abbvie and leader of the Metrics & Analysis Interest Group for the Legal Operations section; and from metrics guru and proponent for universal quality standards in the legal profession, Ron Dolin, a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Law's Center on the Legal Profession.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Perspective: Crucial Steps When Using Analytics During e-Discovery

Posted: 2016-Mar-28

With the United Kingdom recently joining the United States and Ireland as three jurisdictions that support the use of technology-assisted review (TAR), litigators on both sides of the Atlantic are increasingly tasked with ensuring TAR is applied in a defensible manner.   Full Story

Spend Management

Procurement Casts A Long Shadow On GCs And BigLaw

Posted: 2016-Mar-25

Procurement professionals have been simultaneously viewed as bringing a new discipline to the purchase of legal services and threatening in-house counsel’s autonomy, but a new survey suggests the fears are overblown. The survey suggests that procurement's function is more likely to be focused on informing the selection and management of outside counsel and doing so hand in hand with in-house counsel, not unilaterally hiring law firms based solely on their price tags. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

It's a big, bad world out there; Differing e-discovery standards abroad pose pitfalls for the unwary

Posted: 2016-Mar-25

Data privacy laws in other countries are more protective than laws in the US. Here's what to look for...   Full Story

The Future Keeps Happening To Legal Services

Posted: 2016-Mar-24

Technology and process are the means by which clever human beings are reshaping delivery of goods and services. As applied to legal delivery, new models are springing up that do not change what lawyers do so much as enable them to be more efficient and better leverage their expertise. This is good for value and bad for a model built on maximizing billable hours. Lawyers are increasingly rendering legal expertise from technologically and process-driven business models — not law firms — that are “faster, cheaper and better.” This is well underway in the retail segment of the market where companies like LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and others are bringing millions of new customers — individuals and small businesses — into the marketplace. And the corporate segment is beginning to embrace new models, too. Investment in legal technology and the rapid growth of service provider market share confirms that. In the midst of the astonishing pace of technological change and its profound impact upon nearly all facets of human existence, the future keeps happening in the once static legal vertical. Here are some recent examples. [Law 360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Spend Management

UTBMS: A Breakthrough for M&A Codes

Posted: 2016-Mar-24

Since 2012 I have served as the project manager of a task force on Legal Project Management in the Mergers & Acquisition Committee of the ABA Business Law Section. Over 70 lawyers have been involved in this effort over the past four years. Among many projects, we developed a more practical approach to capturing data on legal work through a working group that designed codes for ease of adoption by busy practitioners. The goal of the task force is to improve the efficiency of conducting deals, along with the data collection and analysis supporting such efforts. Consequently, we viewed the effort to design M&A codes as fostering a change in culture and conduct, rather than a data collection exercise.    Full Story

White Paper — Artificial Intelligence in Law: The State of Play 2016

Posted: 2016-Mar-24

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact and applications in the legal profession is examined in a new white paper, entitled Artificial Intelligence in Law The State of Play 2016, by Michael Mills, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Neota Logic, a provider of intelligent software. In the paper, published by Thomson Reuters’ Legal Executive Institute, Mills analyzes AI — what the author calls a “big forest of academic and commercial work around ‘the science and engineering of making intelligent machines’” — and how AI is being implemented in legal areas such as ediscovery, legal research, compliance, contract analysis, case prediction and document automation.   Full Story

Spend Management

Perspective: Are Law Firms Just Like Other Vendors?

Posted: 2016-Mar-23

That dynamic has changed dramatically in recent years. A major reason is because legal delivery is now a triad involving legal expertise, technology, and process management. Law firms remain strong in legal expertise, but they are generally laggards in technology and process. And they are no longer the only game in town. In-house departments have mushroomed, service providers have proliferated, and the Big Four and consultancies are poised to capture greater market share. This has caused fraying of “relationships” between law firms and clients. Not only are there alternatives to law firms, but also, those options – especially elite service providers – are “better, cheaper, and faster” than firms handling tasks dependent upon technology and process. Also, procurement and other “non-lawyers” have a seat at the buy side table. This means that lawyers no longer sell exclusively to lawyers.   Full Story

E-Discovery Managed Services: A Bridge to Predictive Analytics

Posted: 2016-Mar-22

Although predictive analytics may be difficult to master, it's a tool that can greatly improve litigation results. There's no question that Big Data analytics are dramatically changing the practice of law. Legal technologists are creating "computational law" tools that can process traditional legal tasks in minutes, not hours. Examples include LexMachina, which mines information about judges, lawyers and patents in intellectual property litigation, and Beagle, which diagnoses errors and friction points in lengthy contracts. These technologies not only help lawyers and other legal professionals deliver legal services better, faster and cheaper—but cut the time and costs of executing those tasks. Advantages: lawyers can focus on more high-level tasks; clients get better service at a better price. Yet, when it comes to e-discovery, many firms have not integrated a fundamental analytics tool—predictive coding.    Full Story

Spend Management

Why GCs Still Miss The Mark On Alternative Fee Deals

Posted: 2016-Mar-22

Discounted and blended rates may be the new normal in law firm billing, but experts say law departments need to put in more work and gain more comfort before the industry sees widespread adoption of the risk-shifting, value-based fee arrangements once held up as the antidote to the billable hour. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Complacency in the Face of Evolving Cybersecurity Norms is Hazardous (Part 1)

Posted: 2016-Mar-21

Given the constantly evolving legal requirements and changing technology, the business executives and board of directors members are often reluctant to adopt policies that require a high-level of corporate-wide commitment. Expenditures on cybersecurity may not have concrete and identifiable benefits nor generate revenues. Corporate inertia with respect to implementing rigorous cyberdefense is understandable. There are very large number of unknowns. Corporate decision-makers often receive a great amount of contradictory advice. The C-suite needs to think and act strategically. Cybersecurity challenges will not go away if ignored. The threat demands action and policies consistent with the corporation’s profile and its sector's norms.    Full Story

Spend Management

Survey Reveals Role of Procurement in “High-End” Legal Services Market

Posted: 2016-Mar-21

A trade organization for legal procurement professionals will release its 2016 Legal Procurement Survey on Monday, March 28th, providing new information on who’s making purchasing decisions, when discounts are expected and other data about legal spend and budgeting trends. Conducted by Buying Legal Council, the survey polled 92 legal procurement and client-side legal operations professionals. Respondents came from a wide range of industries, with 86 percent of respondents coming from companies that have at least $1.7 billion in annual revenue and 45 percent from companies that have between $4 and $25 billion in annual revenue. Big Law Business obtained an advanced copy of the 27-page report about the survey and posted several highlights.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

3 Signs it’s Time for Document Management Software

Posted: 2016-Mar-18

While you may not be swimming through a sea of paper or drowning in data, not employing software for your document management strategy may be setting your firm back more than you realize. However, if your legal department has yet to take document management to the information age, you’re not alone – as noted in ILTA’s 2015 legal technology purchasing survey, only 10 percent of respondents reported buying document management technology in the past 12 months, down from 12 percent in 2014. The losses that can ensue aren’t a new finding, either – as noted in a 2012 global survey of IT professionals, document challenges during the year amounted to a 21.3 percent loss in an organization’s overall productivity. The time may be ripe for applying software to document management strategies, and, according to Cathy Reisenwitz, web content writer at business technology consultancy Capterra, there are three “telltale signs that it’s time” bring a tech solution to your firm.    Full Story

Spend Management

New Streamlined Legal Industry Standard Codes for Data Collection on the Cost of M&A Work Adopted

Posted: 2016-Mar-18

Finally, a simpler more practical approach to capturing data on legal work. In February 2016, the Board of the LEDES Oversight Committee (“LOC”) adopted simple, concise and practical codes for capturing information about the phases of work in mergers & acquisition transactions. The new M&A codes are designed for ease of adoption by busy practitioners to provide a source of data to promote effective budgeting, communication about staffing, roles and responsibilities,work to be done and deal objectives.    Full Story

When will lawyers rise (like elevators) to the occasion?

Posted: 2016-Mar-17

Too many lawyers share much of the helplessness, frustration and unnecessary labor of the passengers who would take the stairs for want of operators to hit the elevator buttons for them. The truth is that even if we could press pause on technological progress, the legal community would still have considerable work to do to integrate existing process and technology improvements into the delivery of legal services.   Full Story

Spend Management

Report: 2015 Saw a Near-Record Number of Patent Cases

Posted: 2016-Mar-17

Data analytics company Lex Machina published its annual year in review on patent litigation on Tuesday, confirming that 2015 saw a near-record number of patent cases filed in district courts, with more than 43 percent of those filed in the Eastern District of Texas. While patent attorneys may already be aware of these findings, the data also reveals new information that can prove useful to companies and their attorneys. For example, the data shows the amount of time on average it takes different districts to get to trial, how different districts treat various motions, and which companies faced the most patent litigation.    Full Story

Contract Management

3 Questions You Need Answered Before Investing in Contract Management Software

Posted: 2016-Mar-17

Contracts are absolutely crucial to the success of any organization, but the tasks of creating, negotiating, approving and managing these vital documents can become unwieldly when manual or homegrown processes are used to manage myriad contracts. Contract management software (CMS) can simplify administrative tasks, save money and provide peace of mind. With so many robust solutions available, finding the right CMS for your organization may seem daunting. Legaltech News asked the CEOs from three leading contract management software vendors to break down the basics.    Full Story

Spend Management

Business Side Weighing In More On GC Legal Picks

Posted: 2016-Mar-16

When it comes to companies’ legal spending decisions, the more business-minded procurement professionals outside of a company's legal office are increasingly weighing in on general counsel’s picks for outside counsel, according to survey results released on Tuesday by trade organization Buying Legal Council. Procurement professionals — the folks often behind requests for proposals for legal services — are involved in 86 percent of decisions for purchasing commoditized, routine legal services, as well as 64 percent of decisions involving so-called bread and butter legal services and 45 percent of decisions involving high-end legal services, such as high-stakes litigation, according to the survey results, which were released at a Buying Legal conference in New York on Tuesday. [Law360 - subscription required]   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Ops Pros Come Together To Push Industry Change

Posted: 2016-Mar-16

Cross-company collaboration propels innovation in legal departments and forces legal service providers to follow suit. Here, six legal operations directors discuss how working together is driving industry change. Legal operations managers have risen to prominence in corporate America, but 15 to 20 years ago, the role was still brand-new and the directive to reduce costs, manage service providers and increase efficiency came with a question mark. Law firms were resistant to change, technologies were still rudimentary and there were no best practice blueprints for the germinating field of legal operations. Today, however, the legal operations community is changing the way law departments work, helping them become leaner while growing in sophistication, and it's happened not by innovating in a bubble but by learning from one another's trials, errors and triumphs. [Law360 - Subscription required]   Full Story

Sooner Than You Think! When Do Law Firms Need to Take Alternative Legal Providers Seriously?

Posted: 2016-Mar-15

Many legal pundits suggested that firms faced existential threats from dropping demand as General Counsels and Corporate Legal departments demanded “more for less”, while technology-assisted disrupters and alternative service providers ate away at the law firms’ share of legal spend. And yet, firms’ rates have recovered, rising year-over-year since 2010: demand is stable, and firms have figured out other ways to grow revenue and profit, albeit at a slower pace than before. Some firms, especially in the UK, have decided to compete with technology and alternative providers by offering their own solutions. But most firms have done, frankly, nothing beyond adding some fig-leaf “fixes”. So why should law firms take alternative providers seriously now? Well, unless law firms integrate alternative delivery (including technology) robustly, they may be facing an existential threat after all. And that threat could be arriving on their doorstep sooner than you think.   Full Story

Making Foray Into Canada, Deloitte Acquires Conduit Law

Posted: 2016-Mar-15

Deloitte announced Monday that it has acquired Conduit Law, a Toronto-based company that embeds lawyers into corporations. Terms of the deal, including cost, were not disclosed. Now called Deloitte Conduit Law, the new entity will offer outsourced lawyers to support corporate legal teams and law firms, helping them meet business needs and deliver short-term projects, according to the press release.   Full Story

The Lawyers’ Travel Guide to the Wild West of Data Analytics The ASU-Arkfeld Conference keynote tackled the legal applications of Big Data, and how data scientists and attorneys can work hand-in-hand.

Posted: 2016-Mar-14

The ASU-Arkfeld eDiscovery and Digital Analytics Conference tackled the question during the Day 3 keynote, “Welcome to Today’s Wild West of Data Science and Big Data.” The sheriff guiding the attendees through the Wild West was Michael Goul, associate dean for research at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.    Full Story

Spend Management

5 Reasons to Insource E-Discovery While outsourcing can lower costs and remove tech-related complexities, there are ways to bring the same benefits via insourcing.

Posted: 2016-Mar-14

Along with the potential expediency and accuracy that can result from tech adoption come concerns over costs and the skills needed to oversee and implement solutions. Thus, when it comes time to bring new, tech-enabled methods in-house, many companies and firms outsource their processes, finding this route may save the headaches typically associated with overseeing new solutions and processes. However, some believe there’s a way to insource e-discovery without incurring massive stress or going broke in the process. Here are five reasons from Zapproved CEO and founder Monica Enand for legal departments to bring their e-discovery in-house.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

As Legal Departments Do More Work In-House, Tech Adoption Becomes Critical

Posted: 2016-Mar-14

Investment in enterprise legal management (ELM) solutions is predicted to more than double over the next four years, according to a new report from Gartner Research. That translates to corporate legal adoption of ELM possibly increasing from 20 percent to 50 percent by 2020, according to the “Gartner Market Guide for Enterprise Legal Management Solutions.” As the corporate legal department becomes more like a small firm, some changes should be put into place. These include organizational factors such as expertise, collaboration and process. This article includes a link to download a free copy of the Gartner report, courtesy of LexisNexis CounselLink.    Full Story

Spend Management

The UK TAR Decision: What It Means for Corporate Counsel

Posted: 2016-Mar-11

The jurisprudence of e-discovery hit another milestone on Feb. 16. That was when a British court joined courts in the United States and Ireland in approving the use of technology-assisted review (TAR) in litigation. The High Court of Justice Chancery Division decision by Master Matthews in Pyrrho Investments v. MWB Property is significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it represents a sort of legal role reversal where we Americans—who borrowed most of our legal system from the English—ended up providing the precedent in this one (even if it is a non-binding precedent). Of course, corporate counsel often have outside counsel to deal with litigation issues. However, the use of TAR can be a game-changer for in-house lawyers, and for those involved in cross-border litigation, this decision is especially significant.    Full Story

Spend Management

Shell Legal — Betting on Data

Posted: 2016-Mar-11

In embarking on a panel review for Shell, one of the largest corporations in the world, the data on pre-existing arrangements is voluminous. And while the review will redefine the relationship between Shell and its primary external providers of legal services, a proper understanding of the current state of affairs is indispensable. But that kind of insight requires separating the signal from the noise. In organizing a mass of data, there are competing urges towards over-simplification and over-complication. The simplest numbers to grasp are medians and means. Average billable rate, average spend per matter, average matter length, average timekeepers per matter, average risk/exposure per matter. Yet, there is no such thing as an average matter. While gross averages can be useful as pieces in an overall KPI package, they offer limited insight when evaluating a one-off situation. A billion-dollar contract negotiation may extend for months on the whim of one regulator, or a multi-million dollar litigation may turn on a single email. There is no numerical substitute for understanding the vagaries of an individual matter.   Full Story

Big Law Gender Parity Initiative Picks Up Momentum

Posted: 2016-Mar-10

The gender gap problem at large U.S. law firms has been well-documented, and now there’s a competition to generate creative solutions about how to resolve it. On Wednesday Caren Ulrich Stacy, founder and CEO of Diversity Lab, announced the Women in Law Hackathon, a Shark Tank-style competition in which teams of lawyers will brainstorm ways to improve the retention and advancement of women in Big Law.   Full Story

Artificial Intelligence in Law: The State of Play 2016 (Part 3)

Posted: 2016-Mar-10

The first post in this series discussed current developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) generally and its application to law. In the second post, we took a closer look at how legal research and ediscovery are being impacted by AI; and in this final installment, we’ll take a look at other AI tools and companies at work in areas of law today. Artificial intelligence is hard at work in the law — for example, in case prediction, compliance, contract analysis and document automation — though often there is no “AI Inside” label on the box.   Full Story

Artificial Intelligence in Law: The State of Play 2016 (Part 2)

Posted: 2016-Mar-05

The first post in this series discussed current developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) generally and its application to law. In this post, we take a closer look at the AI tools and companies at work in legal research and ediscovery. Artificial intelligence is hard at work in the law — for example, in legal research and ediscovery — though often there is no “AI Inside” label on the box.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Expanding the Known Universe: GCs who take on a visionary role become the mapmakers charting their company’s course

Posted: 2016-Mar-04

This column is the first in a series that will explore that evolution, digging deep into what general counsel need to understand – and master – to become mapmakers, exploring the factors that underscore a visionary approach to leading both the legal department and the company, and dissecting some of the most evolved legal departments to discover the transformational steps they’ve taken – and why. We’ll see how their growing understanding of the businesses and industries in which they work, as well as the comprehensive command of financial issues, analytics, technology, talent development and organizational design, is allowing general counsel to demonstrate the necessary leadership and commitment and, as a result, gain support and resources from the rest of the C-suite team.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Labor Arbitrage and the Canary in the Legal Industry Coal Mine

Posted: 2016-Mar-01

This blog is not new, but having just come across it, thought it worth posting as it has a terrific roundup of key insights from several studies & analyses (Altman Weil “2015 Chief Legal Officer Survey,” Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group “Report on Financial Performance,” Process Excellence Network “Special Report: Aligning Strategy With OPEX To Drive Sustainable, Enterprise-Wide Transformation,” New York Times “Graying Firms Wrestle With Making Room For Younger Lawyers.”) and points out that the combination of in-house downsizing and law firm splintering could be an ugly one-two punch. The central point: instead of overlying on labor arbitrage, we could transition to more efficient law firm and law department operations using process excellence methodologies, including predictive analytics, to reduce operating costs while at the same time allowing attorneys to re-tool their practices to more strategic focused, valued-added work.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

New Company Points to Expanding Legal Operations Business

Posted: 2016-Mar-01

A new company launched this week seeking to advise corporate law departments on Lean Six Sigma and other efficiency optimization — the latest sign that legal operations specialists are growing more important. Called LegalShift, it adds to a growing list of consulting firms and organizations aimed at improving operations and process of knowledge management, billing, strategy management and other areas in the legal industry. We appreciate that it frames its practice by how it meets the ACC Value Challenge, with the following value levers: project management, process improvement, allocating work, value-based fees, technology, and knowledge management.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Artificial Intelligence in Law: The State of Play 2016, Part 1

Posted: 2016-Feb-29

As the use of deep neural network systems spreads into everyday life — they are already used to analyze and recommend financial transactions — it raises an interesting concept for humans and their relationships with machines. The machine becomes an oracle; its pronouncements have to be believed. When a conventional computer tells an engineer to place a rivet or a weld in a specific place on an aircraft wing, the engineer — if he or she wishes — can lift the machine’s lid and examine the assumptions and calculations inside. That is why the rest of us are happy to fly. Intuitive machines will need more than trust: they will demand faith. So, what does this mean for law? This article includes a useful infographic that shows the branches in AI, and the connections and commonalities among them.    Full Story

Spend Management

An ACC Docket Interview with Wier Diffrent LLP CEO

Posted: 2016-Feb-26

Dare to be different. This fictionalized interview presents Weir Diffrent LLP, an idealized law firm that upends traditional orthodoxy. ¦¦ A ripple effect - Weir Diffrent takes aim at the billable hour by use of value billing practices such as flat fees, performance bonuses, and contingent fees. ¦¦ Estimated profit - Weir Diffrent sets a threshold of US$1 million per year of work per client to ensure lasting and fruitful institutional relationships. ¦¦ In the eyes of the world - The fictional law firm presented here seeks to inspire by introducing radically different value-based billing principles.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Mosaic: Essays on Legal Delivery

Posted: 2016-Feb-26

Corporate legal delivery has morphed from legal expertise to a 3-legged stool supported by legal expertise, technology, and business process. And while the perception remains that law firms have the edge when it comes to legal expertise, there is a growing recognition that they cannot complete with service providers in the efficient, cost-effective, value driven and transparent delivery of many tasks. External counsel are no longer calling the shots, clients are. But with disaggregation and the creation of a legal supply chain comes the need for (re)integration of legal delivery. And this begs the question: who will be the straw that stirs that drink. Will law firms or others like the Big Four, service providers, legal networks, technology companies (think: "Uberization") or reconstituted law firms do so, and in the process, become the dominant player in legal delivery?    Full Story

Spend Management

Missing the Big Picture: A Legal Service Provider Says That Many Legal Departments Are "Fixated on Rates"

Posted: 2016-Feb-25

Excerpts from a discussion with Dan Reed, CEO of UnitedLex, on industry trends, and in what ways clients are getting smarter, and not.    Full Story

Spend Management

Survey: Is Peak Corporate Legal Spend Behind Us?

Posted: 2016-Feb-25

Corporate legal spending increased for the second straight year, but the overall rate of growth slowed, according to a new survey. Factors mentioned are more programs in place within corporate law departments to help manage budgets and reduce legal spend. Those programs include matter-management e-billing technology, increased use of alternative fee agreements that achieve cost predictability and increased collaboration between law departments and law firms.   Full Story

Spend Management

Perspective: Why Lawyers Should Think About the Sharing Economy

Posted: 2016-Feb-25

Many corporate lawyers — especially those working in big firms — still cling to the notion that even if their work is not “bespoke,” it’s damn special. Maybe yes and maybe no. But that misses the point. The real issue is the structure by which legal expertise is delivered. Data confirms that law firm size affects rates; larger firms tend to charge more than smaller ones. That begs the question: are large law firms and their cost-inflating partnership model, expensive real estate, and infrastructure necessary in the age of the sharing economy?   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Study: Corporate Law Departments’ Spend on Software Set to Explode

Posted: 2016-Feb-25

A new report finds that corporate law departments spend an estimated $1.5 billion per year on legal software, and predicts explosive growth in this area in the next few years. According to the report, the total potential market size for corporate legal department software is $6.5 billion — more than four times the current spend. It also found that the fastest-growing corporate legal technology areas are knowledge management, legal analytics, legal project management, contracts management and governance & compliance software.   Full Story

Spend Management

How GCs Can Make RFPs Easier For Law Firms

Posted: 2016-Feb-25

Requests for proposals are an increasingly common gauge-and-selection tool for legal departments, but the workload they require of law firms can be a thorn in their side. Here’s how in-house attorneys can get the information they need without needlessly torturing their outside counsel. Keep it simple; help them help you; don't (fully) relegate it to Procurement; thank long term.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Law Department Benchmarking Report Highlights; A Focus on Law Department Operations Refinement

Posted: 2016-Feb-24

The adoption of formal processes and tools designed to boost efficiency and demonstrate value is becoming the new normal, as general counsels feel the squeeze of internal resource constraints and industry economic pressures, according to a new survey. Law departments are focusing on strategic and disciplined management of spending, client satisfaction and performance metrics, proactive information governance, and information management tools such as document and contract management systems, according to the 2015 Law Department Benchmarking Survey by Huron Legal, now part of Consilio LLC. Putting those issues front and center helps address internal resource constraints and industry economic pressures, which law departments named as their second- and third-biggest challenges, surpassed only by increasing or changing regulatory requirements, the survey said.   Full Story

Contract Management

Some of the surprising ways technology will affect future negotiations

Posted: 2016-Feb-19

There has been a lot of discussion about how new technologies such as online negotiation and contract management software are changing the process of getting deals done - either from a legal, sales or procurement perspective. Most of this has focused on how it’s accelerating the process and making it more streamlined. But how will new technology transform future negotiations in situations where companies do not want to move more quickly and for various reasons want to use various different negotiation techniques? Whether your company wants to complete contracts fast or slow, contract management software “is changing the way negotiation is done because policy can be more uniformly implemented across contract admins or your point person.”   Full Story

Spend Management

Shell Oil Law Department Strikes All Company Facets — In a Good Way

Posted: 2016-Feb-18

Obviousness interferes with analysis. The obvious does not merit consideration. In larger law departments, the reliance on panel firms (or preferred providers, or whatever terminology you prefer) is so common that it is nearing the point of being obvious. Convergence is just what you do. This lack of reflection is by design. Prescreening paired with prescriptive retention processes is, in part, intended to reduce cognitive load and promote focus on the substantive legal issues. But the reasons why large law departments concentrate their spend are worth revisiting when the panel is up for review, as Shell Oil's panel is this spring. This is the second in a series of articles that will provide an insider's view on the effort to incorporate professional sourcing methodologies into Shell's legal operations.    Full Story

Spend Management

Breaking News: UK Court Approves Predictive Coding in Landmark Ruling

Posted: 2016-Feb-17

Pyrrho Investments v. MWB Property is the first English court decision to consider and approve the use of Predictive Coding. Master Matthews blessed the use of Predictive Coding in the disclosure process and provided a well-reasoned opinion explaining the facts of the case and why the technology was a good fit. Pyrrho’sholding emphasizes the cost benefits and proportionality advantages for Predictive Coding and opens the door to different ways to of using and deploying the technology going forward.   Full Story

Spend Management

The Dirty Little Secret of Law Firm Billing

Posted: 2016-Feb-16

The Wall Street Journal’s front-page headline on billing rates this month tells only part of the story. “Legal Fees Cross New Mark: $1500 an Hour,” the Feb. 9 article announced, before listing partner hourly rates at several big firms: $925 to $1475 at Proskauer Rose; $895 to $1450 at Ropes & Gray; $875 to $1445 at Kirkland & Ellis; and so on and so on and so on. That’s great if you can get it, but most firms can’t. The 2016 Report on the State of the Legal Market from Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor tells a second part of the story: Realization and collection rates have plummeted. How much a firm bills doesn’t matter; what it actually brings in the door does. In 2005, collections totaled 93 percent of standard rates, the report found. By the end of 2015, the realization rate was down to 83 percent.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Injecting Rationalism into the Artificial Intelligence Discussion

Posted: 2016-Feb-12

If you're curious about AI, you might want to check out the conference mentioned here. Ever since IBM’s Watson beat two jeopardy champs in 2011, there have been voices predicting that artificial intelligence will displace human lawyers. To bring some light to this discussion, Vanderbilt Law School is hosting “Watson, Esq.: Will Your Next Lawyer Be a Machine,” billed as the first legal conference on the topic and scheduled to take place on April 13th and 14th. In an interview, Larry Bridgesmith, an adjunct professor of law at Vanderbilt, said he hopes the conference will dispel some of the myths about the role of artificial intelligence, which he believes is more likely to enhance human lawyer’s work than it is to replace it — at least in the near future.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

ACC Legal Ops Observer - February Issue

Posted: 2016-Feb-11

The latest newsletter showcases Lucy Bassli's work at Microsoft, turning trusted law firms into managed services providers; perspectives on advancing the use of metrics by member Sam Ranganathan and Harvard academic (and entrepreneur) Ron Dolin; as well as highlights of ACC-LO Interest Group activities and recent news items that are especially relevant to legal ops.    Full Story

Spend Management

The Rise of The Chief Data Scientist

Posted: 2016-Feb-08

Big Data drives the need for data experts that can interpret results and apply them to law firms and their clients, but are firms ready to get on board?    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Disrupting the Legalsphere: 9 Startups Pitch at Legaltech New York

Posted: 2016-Feb-08

Bringing a software or service into the legal technology space in hopes of solving problems, servicing demands and, ultimately, turning a profit, is both laudable and daunting for those that undertake the adventure. At Legaltech New York, startups from across the legal landscape came together on a single stage for the “Legal Disruption Lightning Rounds” and bared all in “Shark Tank” style presentations to an innovation-hungry audience and respected panel of judges – including Joseph Bornstein, global director for Pangea3, Thomson Reuters; Monica Bay, a journalist and fellow at CodeX, Stanford Law; and Jason Baron, a member of Drinker Biddle & Reath’s information governance and e-discovery practice.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Is Legal Tech Going Through an Identity Crisis?

Posted: 2016-Feb-05

With three straight days of discussions and endless rows of exhibitors demoing new products, Legaltech New York has traditionally been known as a conference where new trends crystallize and old notions fade away. But picking out the dominant themes of this year's conference wasn't totally straightforward. This BNA Big Law Business article focuses, as does LegalTech, on developments in eDiscovery.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Judges Urge GCs To Get Data Retention Policies In Order

Posted: 2016-Feb-03

With the amount of data that companies generate exploding, several judges at a legal technology conference on Wednesday urged general counsel to put their attention to crafting fair and sensible data retention policies before their companies find themselves in litigation requiring the searching of that information. [Law360 article requires subscription for access]    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Tech Roundup: Recommind Enters the Cloud

Posted: 2016-Feb-01

Recent legal technology developments, courtesy of BNA Big Law Business    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

A New Zeitgeist for the Global Legal Tech Startup Scene?

Posted: 2016-Feb-01

It's been just two years since ReInvent Law NYC, an event many now see as the Woodstock of a new generation of legal tech entrepreneurs, innovators and thinkers. That high-energy event finally convinced a lot of doubters that strong winds of change were blowing through the legal industry, driven by technology and entrepreneurship. In the 24 months since, we've seen many players arriving, departing and shape-shifting.The sense of constant change in legal tech hasn't really abated since. In the past few months, however, the legal tech startup scene in particular seems to have caught new wind in its sails. This article discusses the healthy state of legal tech communities across the world.    Full Story

Spend Management

The Rise of the Chief Data Scientist

Posted: 2016-Feb-01

Big Data drives the need for data experts that can interpret results and apply them to law firms and their clients, but are firms ready to get on board?   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

ACC Chief Legal Officers Survey Finds Drastic Growth in Legal Operations Staffing

Posted: 2016-Jan-27

Corporate law departments are spending more on internal budgets than on law firms or other external legal service providers, and the percentage of general counsel (GCs) stating that their companies have designated legal operations staff has more than doubled, the ACC Chief Legal Officers (CLO) 2016 Survey reports. The study, released today by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a global legal association representing more than 40,000 in-house lawyers in 85 countries, includes more than 30 benchmarks on the evolving role and priorities of the CLO/GC.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

GCs' Embrace Of Legal Ops Refocuses In-House Departments

Posted: 2016-Jan-27

Legal operations functions are taking root in corporate law departments that are increasingly charged with running like businesses, freeing up general counsel to focus on the bigger strategic picture, according to a new survey of general counsel. The Association of Corporate Counsel’s Chief Legal Officers 2016 Survey found that the number of legal departments without a legal operations function is shrinking. In last year’s survey, 79 percent of CLOs said their departments had no legal operations staff positions. Today, only 51 percent go without. This Law360 article requires a subscription.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Concept Drift and Consistency: Two Keys To Document Review Quality – Part Two

Posted: 2016-Jan-24

In most complex review projects the understanding of relevance evolves over time, especially at the beginning of a project. This is concept drift. It evolves as the lawyers’ understanding evolves. It evolves as the facts unfold in the documents reviewed and other sources, including depositions. The concept of relevance shifts as the case unfolds with new orders and pleadings. This is a good thing. Its opposite, concept freeze, is not.   Full Story

Automating Legal Advice: AI and Expert Systems

Posted: 2016-Jan-22

In 2015, we regularly read about automating legal advice with artificial intelligence (AI), especially with IBM Watson. In the author's view, the AI smoke — at least as described in many reports — exceeds the fire. In fact, he cannot name a single large law firm that has deployed a Watson system. Yet, expert systems, a branch of AI, are actually being deployed. Several firms have licensed expert systems to automate advice or intake. This piece starts with some background on AI before turning to recent expert system developments.   Full Story

Spend Management

Leapfrogging Technology and the Slow Acceptance of Predictive Coding

Posted: 2016-Jan-21

Legal Tech 2016 is right around the corner and a quick look at the schedule of sessions and seminars begs the question – what happened to Predictive Coding? In 2012, with more than 20 sessions focused on predictive coding, and even more centered on general TAR/CAR, Legal Tech was all about predictive coding. It was what everyone was talking about and sessions on this topic were full. But here we are four years later and a quick search on the 2016 schedule will bring back only four hits for the phrase. Some say that predictive coding is dead. That it peaked too soon, before anyone was ready for it, and now it’s just faded into the background. Predictive Coding has become a bad word in the lexicon of lawyers and many corporate counsel and we now talk instead about analytics, prioritized review and categorization, and seldom mention predictive coding, unless specifically asked.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Concept Drift and Consistency: Two Keys To Document Review Quality

Posted: 2016-Jan-20

High quality effective legal search, by which I mean a document review project that is high in recall, precision and efficiency, and proportionally low in cost, is the holy grail of e-discovery. Like any worthy goal it is not easy to attain, but unlike the legendary grail, there is no secret on how to find it. As most experts already well know, it can be attained by: Following proven document search and review protocols; Using skilled personnel; Using good multimodal software with active machine learning features; and, Following proven methods for quality control and quality assurance.    Full Story

Spend Management

Supreme Analysis: Chief Justice John Roberts on E-Discovery

Posted: 2016-Jan-18

Since December 1st there have been numerous articles written on what the changes to the FRCP might mean for those of us working in E-Discovery. But if you really want to know the scoop, go straight to the top. The Supreme Court of the United States recently released the 2015 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary, and in it, E-Discovery took a leading role. Chief Justice John Roberts weighs in on the recent changes to the FRCP, and this blog summarizes what he said.    Full Story

Spend Management

Shell Sees Legal Team as Instrumental to its Future

Posted: 2016-Jan-13

This is the first in a series of articles that will provide an insider's view on the effort to incorporate professional sourcing methodologies into Shell's legal operations. It details Royal Dutch Shell’s global panel review process from the hiring of their first ever Global Sourcing Officer (a member of the ACC Legal Ops Section) to the mechanics of the panel review itself, on to the results, negotiations, KPI’s, stakeholder engagement, and more. Take a front-row seat for this story of continuous improvement in procurement of legal services.    Full Story

Spend Management

E-Discovery Proportionality? Chief Justice Roberts digs it too.

Posted: 2016-Jan-11

Proportionality is an important e-discovery concept and is front and center in recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Chief Justice John Roberts addressed the rule changes in his 2015 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary and, although Justice Roberts is not a fan of pistol duels, he is a fan of the amendments, describing them as a "big deal."    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Operation LDO: Driving the Evolution of Law Department Operations

Posted: 2016-Jan-07

Law departments are running more like a business. Legal operations managers discuss using technology and creating efficiency.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

2016 Legal Technology Trends to Watch: Contracts, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, and Wearables

Posted: 2016-Jan-05

Two trends point to a need for lawyers to become technically competent in 2016. First, the gulf between what technology can do for law and what lawyers know about tech is widening. At the same time, clients, companies, and bar associations are becoming less tolerant of lawyers who are not able to proficiently use the tools available. Three technology experts explain what they predict will change in legal tech over the coming year, as well as what lawyers should know and do about it. For example, contract software will experience the most growth in 2016. All legal software will become better integrated. While lawyers may not use cloud computing for all of their software needs, more lawyers than ever will begin to use cloud computing for some aspects of running their law firms. In 2016 we'll see artificial intelligence automate more legal tasks. And we'll see legal technology become more mobile and wearable.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

2016 Report On The State of the Legal Market

Posted: 2016-Jan-04

In-depth and incisive analysis of the effects of client disaggregation, in-sourcing and use of alternative legal service providers on law firms. Data shows that law firms have reacted mostly in passive and reactive ways, but also shows the rewards being reaped by those that are undertaking more aggressive reengineering.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Putting Out The Fire; A Book Says That Companies Can Use Technology to Prevent Litigation

Posted: 2016-Jan-04

In this interview, the author discusses the opportunity for legal departments to install and operate software to look at the risks of litigation in the emails that are flowing through their system. His company, Intraspexion, Inc., uses "deep learning," a subset of artificial intelligence, to train the system to spot potential disputes before they erupt - and is seeking beta testers. Contact lawdepartmentops@acc.com in interested.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

A Holiday Wish List for the Legal Vertical

Posted: 2015-Dec-23

It’s that time of year again when gifts are exchanged and returned; resolutions are made and quickly breached; and hopes for the future abound — so long as one stays away from the news and social media. So, in the spirit of the season — and recognizing what follows is as likely as Dentons foregoing future acquisitions — here is a holiday wish list for the legal vertical.    Full Story

Spend Management

Can Legal Ops Overcome the Persistence of the Billable Hour?

Posted: 2015-Dec-17

Stephen Poor, Chairman of Seyfarth Shaw LLP comments on the recent Law Department Operations survey - noting that only 23.9 percent of the respondents believe that the billable hour will be dead in the next five years. Seeing reason for optimism, Poor points out that the survey shows trends that are laying the groundwork for material and meaningful change – even with respect to the way services are priced. Citing Lincoln Financial and Ford's metrics on law firm performance (focused on matter outcomes) and rapid advances in data management and analysis techniques in the industry, he asserts, "As we develop the data models to support better analysis,...the movement away from traditional pricing models will become considerably less risky. Over time, the pace of adoption will quicken."    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Global In-House Counsel: What’s Different?

Posted: 2015-Dec-15

A poll this fall of senior global in-house counsel in the U.S., Middle East, and a few in Europe, came up with surprisingly consistent responses on skills needed to lead and manage their jobs. The findings demonstrated once again that in-house counsel in strikingly different companies and cultures often face very similar challenges. Setting aside for a moment the implications of the findings, inquiring minds ask: Since there’s so much in common among in-house counsel everywhere, is the domestic in-house counsel job really so different from the global in-house counsel job? The overarching issues are remarkably similar, but yes! The difference is in the detail. The first in a series: "Global In-House."    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Employee Error Leading Cause of Data Breaches, New Survey Says

Posted: 2015-Dec-09

A company’s cybersecurity is only as strong as its weakest link. “Employee error” turns out to be the most common reason for a data breach at companies, according to a new cybersecurity report released Wednesday by the Association of Corporate Counsel. This means the breach occurred as the result of a mistake the employee made, such as accidentally sending an email with sensitive information to someone outside the company. The report, which contained survey responses from more than 1,000 in-house lawyers in 30 countries, found that 30% of breaches this year occurred as a result of employee error. Other common reasons for a breach included unauthorized access by insiders intending to steal company data and phishing attacks, when third parties send spam emails designed to trick employees into giving up their personal information.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Strategies For Your Evolving Law Department

Posted: 2015-Dec-09

Businesses today have higher expectations for their corporate law departments. They expect law departments to contribute toward delivering overall higher efficiency, performance and measurable quality for the organization. To those new to the legal ecosystem, it may sound surprising that these expectations are higher than before. But until recently, law departments have been able to get away with simply claiming that “legal is different” and that “the risks are hard to quantify.” This is no longer the case. In this Law360 article, Joy Saphla of Morae Legal discusses strategic sourcing, informed decision-making, and running the department like a business.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

10 Ways to Transform your Legal Department

Posted: 2015-Dec-03

Once seen as cost centers, corporate law departments have shifted their reputations from that of an inefficient cost of doing business to driving value for their entire organization. In this era of innovation, the general counsel has become a trusted advisor on the executive team and acts as a valued business partner, driving positive bottom-line business results by optimizing legal spend and performance. Given these dynamics, legal departments are looking for a blueprint to handle these increased expectations, so Mitratech recently published a whitepaper, Ten Ways to Transform Your Legal Department: A blueprint for becoming the best-run business unit in the organization. This article briefly summarizes five of the ten ways to transform your legal department, but you can download the whitepaper to read all of the best practices and tips from leading legal departments and industry experts.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

How Departments Leverage Data. Is It Working for Them?

Posted: 2015-Dec-01

This month, Corporate Counsel decided to take a deep dive into data. They looked at how in-house lawyers are leveraging metrics to create efficiencies in their departments, whether through smarter use of people or process. Then, they examined how this increased focus on measuring legal work has influenced, and documented, the broader trends across law departments. ACC Legal Ops members Aaron Katzel of AIG and David Cambria of ADM are quoted.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Law Department of the Future; The 2015 IC10: Inside the Legal Profession's Top Innovators

Posted: 2015-Nov-30

Focuses on 5 principles of an innovative law department: vision, project leadership, C-Suite support/funding, GC long-term commitment, and law department culture. Profiles 10 legal departments that exemplify these principles.    Full Story

Contract Management

Law Department Trends & Contract Management Opportunities

Posted: 2015-Nov-29

An analysis of results from the Annual Law Department Operations Survey by the Blickstein Group and the General Counsel’s Technology Report by Apttus about technology generally and contract management specifically from Rov Friedmann.    Full Story

Spend Management

Companies’ Regulatory Matters Increase Fourfold: Costs, risk, data security top list of concerns for U.S. and European companies

Posted: 2015-Nov-28

In its annual Litigation and Corporate Compliance Survey, AlixPartners LLP polled general counsel and compliance officers at U.S. and European companies with annual revenue of $250 million or more."Bet the Company" cases rise, regulatory matters soar and costs are still top of mind.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Findings from the 8th Annual Law Department Operations Survey

Posted: 2015-Nov-24

Data contained in the survey includes answers to questions related to law department operations (LDO) professionals’ responsibilities, cybersecurity and technology, budgeting, electronic discovery, reporting and metrics, relationships with outside counsel, alternative legal delivery methods and much more. “It’s clear from the data that the profession is maturing: More than 56 percent now rely on a formalized metrics and reporting program,” says Archer Daniels Midland’s Cambria, who serves as the chair of the Law Department Operations Survey Advisory Board. “And this maturation has repercussions, with more than 29 percent now facing compensation ramifications based on those metrics.”   Full Story

Spend Management

Legal Departments Should Be Driving Change Within Law Firms

Posted: 2015-Nov-13

The good news is that legal departments are in a unique position when it comes to driving changes within law firms. There is lots of good work going on at the firms independently — with focus on legal project management and alternative fee arrangements — but at the end of the day, if legal departments are willing to continue to pay in the same way for the same types of services, then it’s likely that change will be slow to happen if at all. Lucy Endel Bassli, Microsoft Assistant General Counsel, Legal & Corporate Affairs, discusses the role of legal department leaders in driving change, and what to demand.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Ops Observer - November 2015

Posted: 2015-Nov-05

Newsletter articles: Archer Daniels Midland, 'Legal Ops Isn't Just One Program, It's In Our DNA;' The Complex Future of Lawyer Skills; What the Jobs Are: New Tech and Client Needs Create a New Field for Legal Operations; ACC Value Champion AIG to Launch Data-Driven Legal Ops Business in 2016; and a Roundup of Activities within the ACC Legal Ops Section.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Balance in All Things: The Path to Preservation Excellence

Posted: 2015-Nov-05

Experts explain the people, process, and technology involved in a balanced preservation plan.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Lift Every Voice

Posted: 2015-Nov-01

Jackie Robinson is remembered because he was the first African American to play in the major leagues. He broke the color line in 1947 as part of success in a broader movement to end various forms of inequity and iniquity, including segregation, housing discrimination and lynching. Robinson did not consider his successful career with the Dodgers alone, as a triumph or victory for the entire sport. No team offered him a position as manager or executive when he retired. He refused an invitation to participate in the 1969 Old Timers game because he did not yet see “genuine interest in breaking the barriers that denied access to managerial and front office positions. There wasn’t a black professional baseball manager until 1975. Jackie Robinson understood something fundamental about diversity: The integration of baseball provides a great example of how any effort at changing the dynamics of an institution must also involve a shift in power structures.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Data Security and Vendor Agreements: The Chain is Only as Strong as the Weakest Link

Posted: 2015-Nov-01

In the wake of the growing number of data breaches, consumers and regulators alike increasingly recognize that compromised organizations may be the victims of sophisticated criminal attacks, and are not always at fault. The list of potential attackers includes state actors such as Russia, North Korea and China, organized criminal elements, and even lone individuals with a political motivation. Regardless of the source, all of these cyber criminals bring resources that potentially outstrip those of the average business. While organizations are far from being excused for such incidents, focus has started to shift slowly from the breaches themselves to what businesses are doing to prevent them in the first place.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Operation: Legal

Posted: 2015-Nov-01

CLOOs Stephanie Corey of Flextronics and Lisa Konie of Adobe Systems are profiled in this piece that touches on innovation, outside counsel management, centers of excellence, and other ways of driving value for the legal department; plus, the value of networking, benchmarking, and working on standards with other legal operations professionals.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

How to Adopt a More Formal Approach to Service Provider Dealings

Posted: 2015-Oct-28

Evaluating e-discovery service providers rarely receives the attention it requires.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

New Law (Pt. 4) – Pricing

Posted: 2015-Oct-26

This is the last in a four-part series on New Law, using three New Law entities as examples. Thank you to NewLAWu.s., Valorem Law Group, and Axiom for providing me with much useful information about themselves that I’ve included in these posts. I saved Pricing for last because together with Technology + People, Pricing is the tipping point for New Law to spread like wildfire. Figuring out pricing requires a major investment in time, in particular if there is not heavy internal tracking and data analytics to be able to rely on historical data.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Will there be a ‘New Deal’ for the legal profession?

Posted: 2015-Oct-21

In the "New Normal" column of the ABA Journal, Paul Lippe reviews "The Future of the Professions," by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind, published by the Oxford University Press. "For my money, this is the best of Richard’s books, situating the changes facing the legal profession in both the long history of professions generally and the parallel challenges facing other fields such as medicine, accountancy, architecture, journalists, clergy and teaching."   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Practice and Legal Delivery: An Important Distinction

Posted: 2015-Oct-21

Lawyers parse words and define terms. So why do they so often use “legal practice” and “legal delivery” interchangeably when the terms have such different meanings and implications? This distinction is especially important in the context of the tectonic shift occurring in the legal vertical. The practice of law is very different than the delivery of law. This is more than a semantic distinction. The latest Legal Mosaic blog by Mark Cohen.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

2015 ACC Global Census; A Profile of In-House Counsel

Posted: 2015-Oct-16

Between March and May 2015, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) conducted a census study to profile the corporate, in-house legal profession. In total, 5,012 in-house counsel from 73 countries participated in the survey. ACC conducted this census to create a demographic portrait of in-house counsel around the world. This study explores key areas of interest among in-house lawyers such as career history and mobility, corporate climate and culture, incidences and impact of mergers and acquisitions, usage of outside law firms and the personal demographic details of individual in-house counsel. Wherever possible, ACC has provided data on trends over time. Legal work continues to shift among law firms, legal service providers and in-house law departments. Lawyers today need more than legal skills; they also benefit from cultivating emotional intelligence, business acumen and the ability to build solid relationships. With ongoing shifts in global markets, volatility in global security and profits and an increase in merger and acquisition activity, cultural fluency has also become vital for lawyers to succeed. Partnerships between firms and legal departments have a renewed focus on value. And the flow of lawyers making the switch from firms to in-house departments has increased, as firm lawyers seek the balance and the in-depth business involvement that an in-house career offers. This report provides opportunities for both in-house and outside counsel to better understand the landscape of the corporate legal field on topics including compensation, turnover and trends in outside counsel usage.   Full Story

Spend Management

A Day in the Life of a Pricing Professional

Posted: 2015-Oct-15

The number of pricing groups in law firms has been on the rise for a few years now. There is even a dedicated pricing conference (P3) which recently held its third annual event in 2015. The conference has roughly doubled in attendance each year. The number of firms with one or more dedicated pricing person is following the same trend. Around 40 percent of AmLaw 100 firms have at least one full-time Pricing Specialist/Manager/Director. Some have as many as five or six! What do pricing professionals do all day? How did they get started? What do they love about their jobs and what do they struggle with? The author spoke with 3 professionals in firms in different stages of formal pricing initiatives to find out.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Department In-Sourcing And Efficiency Report

Posted: 2015-Oct-15

Thomson Reuters conducted a survey of 303 attorneys working in legal departments to identify their best practices in achieving greater efficiency and productivity across their in-house teams. To no one’s surprise, stretching too few resources and managing outside legal costs are persistently top of mind for these legal professionals. Accordingly, this survey report investigates how departments are looking to improve efficiency and productivity through increased legal department headcount; deploying on-boarding techniques; evaluating new technologies; “in-sourcing,” or handling more work in-house, including specific tasks related to contracts, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, and litigation; and challenging the traditional in-house/outside counsel relationship.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

BT Legal’s Transformation

Posted: 2015-Oct-07

2013 ACC Value Champion Chris Fowler, General Counsel UK Commercial of BT Legal, speaks about transforming BT Legal’s approach to delivering legal services. At BT our business has had to address the same challenges and exploit the opportunities that the legal industry as a whole is grappling with today, such as: The commoditisation of traditional revenue streams; The movement away from variable usage-based pricing to fixed output-based pricing; New technology and the ability to exploit data; Lower barriers to entry, leading to new entrants that don’t have the cost base of established providers. BT business has had to take a fundamental look at itself and challenge established norms. In the same way, BT Legal has also had to do likewise. You can also check out the BT profile at www.acc.com/valuechampions   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

New Law (Pt. 3) – People

Posted: 2015-Oct-05

In my last post, I discussed the Technology prong of New Law using three examples of New Law companies. Another vital component of New Law models is People. The right people must be doing the right work, whether it’s lawyers, technologists, or a combination of both. In many instances this has meant that New Law models for the most part use lawyers who are already trained and are efficient at performing legal work. Time still matters, although in most cases the billable hour has been eliminated (which I’ll discuss in my next post). More recently it appears that younger, less experienced attorneys may also have a place in New Law. Regardless of the on-going debate in some circles about whether technologists can do lawyers’ jobs, lawyers should try to be technologists, or cross-functional teams are best suited to be successful, in New Law talent must be leveraged in the right way. Lawyer Bridge Blog by Jacquie Champagne.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

What the jobs are: New tech and client needs create a new field of legal operations

Posted: 2015-Oct-01

In this article, Indiana University law professor William Henderson discusses new jobs for JDs providing a different kind of legal service in law firms, new businesses and in-house departments. These jobs blend technology and business skills with law into the legal operations field. And in a profession showing little to no job growth for recent law school graduates, this field offers both steady income and new challenges to those who join it. Bill is admittedly naive, but we're glad academia and the ABA journal are catching on.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Tips & Insights - A Black Belt in Business

Posted: 2015-Sep-30

The business side can be an enigma for some lawyers. Not for Tom Trujillo, the chief operating officer for Bank of America's legal department. He knows exactly what it needs because he has worked on the business side. In 2008, after already serving two years as an assistant general counsel for the bank, he transitioned to one of the global banking teams. There, he was a senior vice president and a product management executive. Before he made the move, he conferred with then-Deputy General Counsel Ed O'Keefe about positions outside the legal department. Trujillo remembers him replying with a Bank of America truism that came from the company's then-general counsel: "How will you know if you have a successful legal department? When the business starts hiring your lawyers." Knowing that a return the legal department was always possible, Trujillo decided to go for it.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

A Lean Legal Guide: Techniques for the Agile Lawyer

Posted: 2015-Sep-23

A growing number of attorneys are turning to a set of project management and process improvement techniques commonly known as “Agile.” As you might expect from the name, going Agile certainly helps businesses be more nimble and responsive to their customers. However, Agile also has been shown to pay huge dividends in improved productivity, increased teamwork and worker engagement, and higher quality products and services. This guide gives a brief primer on the history of Agile, its benefits, and three specific Agile techniques that anyone can adopt to begin immediately.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Visionless; The Effect of Consolidation in Corporate Legal IT

Posted: 2015-Sep-21

Jeff Hodge breaks down the effects of consolidation on corporate IT.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Doing it Better: Diversity at Bank of America

Posted: 2015-Sep-15

The ACC Docket "Doing It Better" series, profiling the great work that legal operations leaders do, continues with this piece explaining Bank of America's model for actively managing outside counsel relationships to continuously improve against a diversity baseline. This is not a story of raw market power and an important client's stated desire that outside firms simply 'do better.' Rather, it is a story of structured dialogue, shared commitment, and continuous improvement. What began as a general statistical report has grown into an enduring project that better aligns Bank of America and its most valued law firms.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

New Law (pt. 2) - Technology

Posted: 2015-Sep-13

In Part 1, I introduced the common elements of New Law (Technology, People and Pricing), but the best way to become more acquainted with New Law models is to look at some examples of companies and firms creating new ways of providing legal services. Technology is key in New Law, and effective models leverage technology to provide legal services in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. Three examples of companies doing this are Valorem Law Group, NewLAWu.s, and Axiom. I spoke at length with representatives from these legal service providers. While each may be using technology differently and to varying degrees, all agree that it plays an increasingly important role. Lawyer Bridge Blog by Jacquie Champagne   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Leadership by Soundbite is Fueling a Well-being Crisis for In-House Counsel

Posted: 2015-Sep-09

Hard-hitting analysis of the defects and cost of individualist approach to in-house lawyering; and of the differences in perception between the business and in-house counsel on value and function of the legal department. Recommends policy, process, training infrastructure and engaging in debate with the business about Legal's role. The money line: "The age of the trusted adviser (if it ever existed) is gone for the vast majority of in-house lawyers. If you have a value, it is building a framework that reduces the need for the business to rely on your individual contribution."    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

A Leader's Guide To Data Analytics

Posted: 2015-Sep-07

In recent years, data science has become an essential business tool. With access to incredible amounts of data—thanks to advanced computing and the “Internet of things”—companies are now able to measure every aspect of their operations in granular detail. But many business leaders, overwhelmed by this constant blizzard of metrics, are hesitant to get involved in what they see as a technical process. This article from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has some good advice for executives in any function, including legal.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

On law department responsibility (Part 2)

Posted: 2015-Sep-01

Our last column called for structured dialogue between law departments and law firms. We recommended an ongoing conversation about identifiable improvements in how legal services are delivered. With people and pricing in place, process will drive continuous improvement. Collaboration can deepen relationships between law departments and law firms. Better legal services at lower cost engender improved law firm realizations and profits. The trick is to start communicating differently. What follows is a list of first steps towards a more structured relationship with your key law firm partners.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Importance Of Innovation In Legal Technology

Posted: 2015-Aug-31

The business-aligned model of Enterprise Legal Management requires a sophisticated IT infrastructure. It also requires an improved attitude about the integration of technology into the day-to-day operations of the corporate legal function. Traditionally, law departments have been reticent to adopt technologies into their daily operations. However, as those operational demands increase and a generational legal-management changeover occurs, Hyperion Group sees attitudes and expectations about the role of technology shifting.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

What Is New Law?

Posted: 2015-Aug-25

This is the first in a four-part series examining the elements of New Law models in legal service delivery. There is no monolithic definition of “New Law.” It encompasses different methods of providing legal services to business clients, to consumers directly, to under-served populations, or to any other number of markets. Innovation is taking place in all sectors of the legal industry, and proponents of change and adaptation often characterize alternative models of delivering legal services as “New Law.” There’s been much written about the impetus for change and the focus on the business of law as a result of the economic downturn starting in 2008, the explosion of legal tech, and the shift of legal services from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. While it’s hard to fathom that some law firms and partners, and even in-house counsel, still haven’t fully grasped the permanence of the transformation in legal services, it’s fruitless to waste any more time trying to convince them. It’s more helpful to take a look at what New Law, such as it is, consists of in the marketplace. Lawyer Bridge Blog by Jacquie Champagne.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Ops Observer - August 2015

Posted: 2015-Aug-18

Newsletter Articles: How Lincoln Financial Uses Analytics to Measure Firm Success and Retain Outside Counsel; How Legal Ops Can Drive Deeper Innovation in Law; The Steering Committee for the ACC Legal Ops Section; June Poll Results; and Highlights from the News& Announcements Page.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Mojo In the Metrics; Validate Law Department Value By Adopting The Right Measures

Posted: 2015-Aug-17

There’s mojo in metrics – as long as they’re the right metrics. The right metrics can cut the challenge of demonstrating a law department’s value down to size by providing tangible proof of the department’s contribution to the business. The right metrics can identify trends and patterns that indicate business opportunities and potential risks.    Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Legal Hold and Data Preservation Benchmarking Survey 2015 Results

Posted: 2015-Aug-15

Survey Methodology The Legal Hold and Data Preservation Survey measures what the prevailing attitudes of participants were at the time of the survey. The survey was conducted from May 24, 2015 to June 30, 2015 using an online questionnaire. The survey respondents consisted of legal professionals, including attorneys, litigation support managers, paralegals and non-legal professionals such as IT and records managers, from in-house legal teams at organizations. While more than 800 individuals took the survey, the sample was further screened for those who currently issued legal hold notices because the survey’s objective is to ascertain current attitudes. The final sample was comprised of 421 respondents. Survey Conducted by the Steinberg Group, LLC   Full Story

Spend Management

Getting to "Yes" on Alternative Fee Arrangements

Posted: 2015-Aug-13

If one understands the root causes of the aversion to AFAs, overcoming objections and gaining AFA acceptance should be easier. Smart law firm managers must devise metrics for AFAs that bear no reference to billable hour economics to overcome profitability concerns explained in this article. Practical outside counsel management advice.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Cybersecurity Lexicon for General Counsel

Posted: 2015-Aug-10

From active attack to zero-day attacks, this lexicon introduces legal executives such as general counsel to terminology commonly used in discussions about cybersecurity.   Full Story

Spend Management

What Is Strategic Sourcing? (and What It Isn't)

Posted: 2015-Aug-06

A quick overview, pointing out that there's much more to be gained than lower costs, from the University of Michigan (via Casey Flaherty).    Full Story

Knowledge Management

A Brief Overview of Legal Knowledge Management

Posted: 2015-Aug-04

KM captures and reuses lawyers’ collective wisdom. It consists of both processes and systems that identify, save, profile, disseminate, and use prior work and accumulated expertise to solve legal and business problems. KM means many things to many people; this short article provides an overview of how leading legal KM professionals view their own discipline. This includes the recent expansion of KM to lead or support legal project management and process improvement.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Ops Panel: How Data is Changing Law Departments

Posted: 2015-Aug-03

Video of the legal ops session at the "Big Law Business Summit" in July 2015. "Seeing what law firms look like is similar to seeing what Pluto looks like, and the stunning images we’re getting of that today. We didn’t really know what Pluto looked like until we got data about that… and better data gives us better pictures. So as we continue to collect richer data from this whole ecosystem of legal spend, we will get better pictures...so that we can make better decisions and achieve the best outcomes.” (Cliff Dutton of AIG)   Full Story

Spend Management

On law department responsibility (Part 1)

Posted: 2015-Aug-01

It is a buyer's market for legal services. Yet, there remain many glaring deficits in the delivery of legal services that we have not remedied. To address these faults, we need to incent outside counsel to work differently, set clear expectations for what we want, and work collaboratively to ensure execution.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legaltech West and the Rising Influence of Legal Operations

Posted: 2015-Jul-22

In a resource-constrained environment where corporate legal teams are searching for better ways to streamline their activities and cut costs, operational efficiency has become the answer for many. From metrics to management and technology to talent, the influence of legal operations is transforming the way in-house teams operate. This report on a panel featuring legal ops professionals covers "best practices" for creating a successful legal operations team, legal department metrics, and the roles of in-house counsel and corporate procurement.    Full Story

Spend Management

Live From The Summit: On Legal Operations Specialists

Posted: 2015-Jul-16

A few quips, captured at the Bloomberg "Big Law Business Summit" from ACC Legal Ops members Adam Storch of Marsh McLennan, Bob Harchut of GlaxoSmithKline and Cliff Dutton of AIG - all ACC Value Champions! Law firms, watch out, they are pulling together data and, as expressed in the money line from Dutton,"Seeing what law firms look like is similar to seeing what Pluto looks like, and the images we’re getting of that today. We didn’t know what Pluto looked like until we had the data. In the future, we’ll have a better picture of law firms too. It will be glorious in its own way."   Full Story

Spend Management

Firms: Get over it-the pricing debate has moved on!

Posted: 2015-Jul-15

Making the case to law firms for offering a range of pricing - moving away from time-based to budget-based, performance-based and ultimately value-based. Plus, a handy, amusing flow-chart to sort out the meaningful differences between old-school billing practices and value-based pricing.   Full Story

Spend Management

8 Problems a Legal Spend Management System Can't Solve (Part 1)

Posted: 2015-Jul-01

In the legal technology world, there are a lot of things systems don’t do well, or at least not as well as their human counterparts. For owners of legal spend management and legal matter management systems (essentially the same thing) who expect answers to all kinds of important questions, here’s a list of things those systems can’t do, despite what your salesperson might tell you:   Full Story

Spend Management

The 7-Eleven Convergence, Part IV: Integrating the New Preferred Counsel Network

Posted: 2015-Jun-26

7-Eleven wanted to find a better way to price legal services. It also wanted to align its panel of outside firms according to its core portfolio areas. Like many legal departments seeking to improve the quality of its services, 7-Eleven felt that value-based billing could nurture long-term partnerships built on fair pricing and mutual long-term benefit. In this installment, the fourth of a six-part series, we learn how 7-Eleven devised fee models that would help achieve those goals.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

ACC: Our Stakeholders Are Beginning To Lose Faith In The Legal Profession [#LMAP3 Recap #2]

Posted: 2015-Jun-25

Toby Brown of Akin Gump and Amar Sarwal, Vice President and Chief Legal Strategist for the ACC, shared opening keynote duties. Toby gave the state of the 3 Ps this conference addresses, which are: Pricing Process Improvement, and Project Management …and Amar Sarwal delivered a bit of direct, sobering commentary and advice from in-house counsel to attendees when he delivered his talk titled The Future of Legal Services: An In-House Perspective.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

2015 Legal Ops Conference Roundup - A Breakthrough Moment for Legal Operations

Posted: 2015-Jun-25

Because of the energy, interest and effort put in by participants, 48 jam-packed hours evolved into a breakthrough moment for legal operations at a national level. Corporate counsel have long spoken of the promise and possibilities of better operational management. This gathering dug deeply into the details, the challenges, and the reality of making legal operations more effective. Nothing short of a book could summarize what took place across those two days in early June – so we present a few highlights:   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

OldLaw, NewLaw, EmergingLaw, and NextLaw and Do Less Law

Posted: 2015-Jun-16

From former FMC Technologies Jeff Carr: OldLaw is not in the business of solving legal problems, it’s in the business of billing hours to solve legal problems. NewLaw is not in the business of solving legal problems, it’s in the business of billing lower cost hours to solve legal problems. EmergingLaw is in the business of solving legal problems, and in doing so efficiently and effectively. NextLaw is in the business of preventing legal problems from ever arising. After all, unless you’re a law firm, the best legal issue is the one you never have.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Two Gurus Give a Crash Course in Legal Ops

Posted: 2015-Jun-15

While benchmarking and analytics may not make great fodder for cocktail party conversation, they're hot topics in corporate legal departments. And Stephanie Corey and Connie Brenton, the top legal operations executives at Flextronics and NetApp Inc., know those subjects as well as anyone in the Bay Area. About four years ago, the pair started the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, or CLOC, to compare notes with their peers at some of Silicon Valley's biggest companies. Earlier this month, they helped launch the Association for Corporate Counsel's inaugural conference for legal operations professionals—a sign, says NetApp's Brenton, that the specialty has hit the "tipping point."    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

ACC Law Department Management Committee Newsletter - June 2015

Posted: 2015-Jun-10

The ACC Law Department Management Committee's inaugural newsletter, for in-house counsel, focuses on the value of the legal operations function and features a profile of the general counsel of Hilton Worldwide, and how she benefits from having legal ops staff.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Law Firms' New Person To Fear: The Legal Ops Director

Posted: 2015-Jun-04

At an Association of Corporate Counsel forum Wednesday that kicked off the organization’s new legal operations section, GCs and legal ops professionals spoke to nearly 200 attendees about their role and duties within their companies and the way they’re driving innovation and putting law firms under the microscope.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Ops Observer - June 2015

Posted: 2015-Jun-01

Newsletter Articles: - Legal Ops Pros Aim to Build Standards, Share Best Practices and Discover New Leaders - Program Highlights of the 2015 Legal Operations Conference - Doing It Better: A Member of Disney's Legal Team Discusses Knowledge Management & Legal Ops Role   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Business Case for the Law Department COO

Posted: 2015-May-28

General counsel seem to intuitively grasp that the role of chief operations officer (COO) offers value for their legal departments. Yet based on results of Corporate Counsel’s first “Law Department COO Survey,” GCs also seem to have difficulty articulating or measuring that value, and even determining what the job’s responsibilities should be. It appears that many GCs expect that COOs will do just about everything, from ordering office supplies to preparing financial information.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Value-Based Fees, Use of Legal Operations Function Help Companies Drive Time and Cost Savings

Posted: 2015-May-19

General counsel are using detailed data analysis to shape their law departments and applying technology and value-based fees (VBFs) to create solutions to expensive areas like discovery and litigation, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) announced at its 2015 ACC Value Champions press briefing. ACC also highlighted that companies are building transformative, multi-pronged programs, often employing legal operations professionals to implement plans and measure success.   Full Story

Knowledge Management

The state of the art of legal technology circa 2015

Posted: 2015-May-13

Over the past few years, tech has entered the legal sphere. Courtrooms finally digitize and more and more legal tech systems enter the market. The CodeX FutureLaw Conference 2015, held on April 30, discussed the future of legal tech with a more academic approach. One of the most interesting speeches was given by professor Oliver Goodenough. Professor Goodenough is Director of the Center for Legal Innovation and Professor of Law at Vermont Law School. He spent the last six months as a visiting scholar at the Stanford’s CodeX Center for Legal Informatics studying legal tech and innovation. Goodenough talked about the state of the art of legal technology circa 2015. IUS & VITA gives a brief overview of his speech. According to Goodenough, there are three stages of technological innovation. ?Stage 1.0 is the stage where technology empowers the current human players within the current system. Examples of 2.0 technology are predictive coding (e-discovery) where the actual understanding of the law, the analysis of the law is performed by machines. It impacts lawyers, companies and consumers. In stage 3.0, tech overturns much of the current system and replaces it with something else. This is where “computational law” changes everything.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Operational Empowerment: How Operations Officers Can Increase Efficiency In Your Law Department

Posted: 2015-May-01

With a properly empowered COO and a team to support him or her, the law department can transform itself from a tired relic to a cutting edge business unit and agent of change. Features our own Reese Arrowsmith of Lincoln Financial, David Cambria of ADM, and Aaron Katzel of AIG.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Profile of Tania Daniels - Disney's Head of Global Legal Ops & ACC Legal Ops Steering Committee Member

Posted: 2015-Apr-28

For the past eight years, Tania Daniels has helped unify the global Disney Legal environment. Daniels has both a JD and a Master's in Library Science. Her MLS, in particular, positioned Daniels as a pioneer in legal knowledge management. She has brought to bear KM, project management, and training such as the ACC Legal Service Management workshop to bring efficiency and control to the far-flung Disney legal department. She is also a founder of the SoCal legal ops group and leader in creating the ACC Legal Ops section.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

ORGANIZING THE WORLD’S INFORMATION AT GOOGLE LEGAL: KENT WALKER, VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL COUNSEL

Posted: 2015-Apr-25

In this profile for the ACC CLO Executive Bulletin, Kent Walker discusses the role of the office of Legal Operations. "We take pride in our legal operations management," Walker says. "The team permits us to run in a effective and efficient way as we partner with our outside law firms. It has also helped us create and use management tools to manage our documents, our patents, and our litigation."    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Quality Metric Example: Litigation Witness Files

Posted: 2015-Apr-24

More from Legal Angel and ACC Legal Ops kick-off conference keynote speaker Ron Dolin on standardizing quality metrics - this time with a useful example.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Defining Legal Operations and Assessing Maturity

Posted: 2015-Apr-23

The theoretic threshold for adding a dedicated legal operations function is where productivity gains for existing headcount can have a greater impact than the gains from adding headcount. More concretely, most departments begin to have a need for a legal operations role somewhere between 15 and 30 employees. If one person can improve the productivity of 20-people by an average of 5%, the role pays for itself.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The concept of strategic legal risk management and the role of lawyers

Posted: 2015-Apr-15

Peter Kurer, partner of private equity firm BLR and noted book author, formerly business lawyer in private practice as well as general counsel and chairman of UBS, talks about the management of legal risks in a global company, the role of the legal department and whether external counsel can provide assistance.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Another Example of Using Big Data to Improve Odds of Winning in Court

Posted: 2015-Apr-12

Blog by Bill Henderson: I spend a lot of time on the road talking to law firm lawyers and legal innovators, including legal start-ups. Many large firm lawyers tend to dismiss new innovations without stopping to listen to, much less gather, relevant facts. Likewise, there is a lot of puffery among legal start-ups as they try to land their first few customers. Thus, I tend to apply a windage factor to accurately interpret what I am being told.   Full Story

Knowledge Management

Information ? Knowledge ? Wisdom: Progression of Society in the Age of Computers

Posted: 2015-Apr-05

An engaging history lesson and some predictions about the how the evolution from information to knowledge and wisdom will occur.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Getting To New Law: Standardized Quality Metrics

Posted: 2015-Mar-25

Legal Angel and ACC Legal Ops kick-off conference keynote speaker Ron Dolin on standardizing quality metrics.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management
Spend Management

ADM law department COO uses data to try to change law firm behavior

Posted: 2015-Mar-12

The article mentions that ACC Legal Operations steering committee member, David Cambria, "is helping to create a division of legal operations directors, an emerging role in corporate America, within the Association of Corporate Counsel."    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

ACC Launches Membership Section for Legal Operations Professionals

Posted: 2015-Mar-04

To support the growing number of legal operations professionals advancing law department management in sophisticated legal departments, especially among the Fortune 500, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) today announced its formation of a new membership sector, ACC Legal Operations.    Full Story

Contract Management

Doing It Better: Contracts

Posted: 2015-Feb-21

As a leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, VMware has enjoyed geometric growth and now reports more than $5.21 billion in revenue from 500,000 customers across the globe. Proportional expansion of the legal department to satisfy surging demand would have been impractical. Instead, General Counsel Dawn Smith created a Worldwide Legal Operations group and empowered its leader, Deputy General Counsel Aine Lyons, to embark on a three-year transformational strategy to meet the challenges of scale.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Legal Efficiency 2015

Posted: 2015-Feb-19

This report focuses on the future of artificial intelligence, mobile technology, data analysis and social media in the legal profession, the benefits of e-discovery, client confidentiality and billing in the digital era, and the role of LPO as more than just a "cost saver."   Full Story

Knowledge Management

Kanban for Lawyers: Getting Started

Posted: 2015-Feb-18

More and more law firms have acquired additional pricing and price-negotiation skills, or have brought in external pricing professionals to participate in the negotiation process.    Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

The Road Not Taken: Inside Out — From Firm to In-house (Part 2)

Posted: 2015-Feb-17

In the first part of the email interview with Shawn Harju, general counsel for Dunkin and Bush, Inc., the focus was on the specifics of her experience as general counsel with the company. In the second part of the interview, Harju looks at her transition from a law firm to an in-house position, and what she has learned during this move.    Full Story

Spend Management

Legal Metrics: Defining Success Beyond Spend Management

Posted: 2015-Feb-16

Measures are a core component of holistic business management. While quantitative measures are not appropriate for all business activities, performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are an increasingly critical part of optimizing the legal function. This topic consistently arises in our annual review of law department trends.    Full Story

Spend Management

New Technology Helps Resovle Disputes Over Legal Billing

Posted: 2015-Feb-16

It's no secret that clients hate sticker shock from lawyers. Billable hours tend to pile up, often leaving clients with an expensive surprise. However, from the halls of government to the offices of tech startups, a push for change is underway.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

DoLessLaw 2014 Recap: Value via Prevention and Doing Less

Posted: 2015-Feb-15

The Tweets below, organized into a few categories, offer ideas and comments on prevention and doing less law with better process, big data, and new commercial services. At the end of the post, I have a couple of Tweets that provide links to my 2014 ReInvent Law presentation on this topics, and the Tweet stream about it.   Full Story

Enterprise Legal Management

Managing a Corporate Law Department in 2015

Posted: 2015-Feb-15

In today's legal industry, there is little doubt that holding a position of in-house or corporate counsel is attractive. Chief Legal Officers have no problem filling the infrequent lawyer openings by selecting from hundreds of applications.    Full Story

Spend Management

Law firms and procurement : Creating a level playing field

Posted: 2015-Feb-15

More and more law firms have acquired additional pricing and price negotiation skills or brought in external pricing professionals to participate in the negotiation process.   Full Story

Spend Management

Fees - Are Clients Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

Posted: 2015-Feb-15

Ask any private-practice lawyer and they will tell you that clients frequently aggravate their costs through their own conduct. The result is costs that are higher than they could or should have been, a disgruntled client and almost inevitably, some sort of write-off or other concession.   Full Story

Contract Management

The Code and the Contract: Lean in Action

Posted: 2015-Feb-15

Many law departments are searching for ways to improve their management and processing of contracts. Given the volume of contracts processed by most departments, this isn’t a surprise. Most of the improvements presented to law departments fall into one of two buckets.   Full Story

Governance Risk Compliance

Defining a Regulatory Change Management Process

Posted: 2015-Feb-15

This is part 3 on the topic of regulatory change management. In the previous posts we explored the pressure organizations are under in context of regulatory change, in this post we look at what elements are needed in an efficient, effective, and agile regulatory change management process.   Full Story

Knowledge Management

Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Field

Posted: 2015-Feb-15

Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) is the application of computer algorithms to perform intellectual tasks. In the distant past the big breakthrough was the creation of machines to do simple mathematics. Today, computers are called to duty on a number of gigantic intellectual tasks.

The intellectual tasks facing society and the legal field are information problems. Since they are information problems, smart, creative humans such as lawyers can solve them with enough data and the ability to analyze it. Some of these modern tasks have surprising depth. Complex technology can have unpredictable risks and powerful technology always has the risk of being misused.

The question this document answers is "what ethics must we be mindful of when creating AI and applying it to the legal field?"   Full Story

Knowledge Management

1st Annual Federal Judges Survey: E-Discovery Best Practices & Trends

Posted: 2015-Feb-05

Exterro surveyed 22 federal judges about e-discovery issues and best practices for the legal industry's first ever Federal Judges Survey on E-Discovery Best Practices & Trends. Responses to the 15-question survey, along with 214 comments from the participating judges, led to one central conclusion: Disruptive change is needed for lawyers to become competent in e-discovery.    Full Story

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