Legal expense management news for February 17, 2012

How much are the legal fees for a high-profile hacking investigation, involving senior management and many other issues? $200 million and counting – an astounding figure, IMHO. And it sounds like no one has any idea how much it will cost in the end: “The bill was substantially higher than News Corp had expected, and the company said that it could not forecast what its expenditure would be on legal fees and external advisers on the hacking scandal for the full year.”

This looks like a useful chart comparing dispute resolution procedures in 30 jurisdictions. But I’d also be interested in seeing comments on “how much will it cost?” – or at least a $, $$, $$$ rating system like one sees in restaurant reviews.

Check out this report on litigation funding in Australia, as well as this summary from The Wall Street Journal. The report highlights the potential conflicts issues: “On the very issues where a client needs a loyal lawyer — such as understanding the fundamental precepts of the funding arrangements, their rights and obligations as set out in the litigation funding agreement — their lawyer goes missing because the conflict of interest is so stark that their lawyer cannot advise.”

Is an effective knowledge management program part of your selection process for outside counsel? Where do your own knowledge management efforts stand? A recent article defined KM in this way: “So what is KM in simple terms? It is perceived as collectively and systematically creating, sharing, and applying knowledge to achieve an organization’s objectives. People, processes, and technology are usually the primary components that comprise knowledge management. Other than that, there is not much consensus on the definition of KM, even though there have been numerous contributions to defining the concept by many information professionals.”

Another Chinese firm opens a London office – the globalization beat goes on….By the way, did you know that the largest Chinese law firm has 2,600 lawyers? And law firm mergers mean compensation changes in most cases – as with King & Wood’s merger with Mallesons, one of Oz’s strongest BigLaw brands. Will billing rates follow suit?

This article about setting billing rates was aimed at small law firms and solo’s, but I’d wager that many GC’s wish BigLaw applied similar creativity to their billing practices.

The potential effects of the proposed Cybersecurity Act on law departments and their law firms – have you put your IT team on notice that your security requirements may be changing? What requirements will you flow through to your law firms? Do you factor cybersecurity into your outside counsel sourcing decisions? If you’re thinking about doing so, here’s a checklist.

ABS news from the U.K. – BT prepares to offer claims management services to other companies. And they are not alone – the Solicitors Regulation Authority says it has received 121 applications from potential ABSs.

And here in the U.S. – in-house leaders, what do you think of IBM’s GC coming out in opposition to non-lawyer investments in law firms?

New study documents the emotional and physical price of 100-hour work weeks for investment bankers. Are the junior associates on your big projects similarly affected, and if so, does it affect the quality of their work? Or is this simply an internal management issues for law firms?

This entry was posted in In-house, Law department tools - e-billing, CMS, metrics, etc., Law firms, Legal expense management. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>