Legal expense management news for October 25, 2013

Check out this quick and easy to digest infographic summarizing the data on “The Rise of the ‘Large Enough’ Law Firms.” The Wall Street Journal takes on the story here. And another survey shows GCs are increasingly willing to move high-stakes work away from BigLaw for the right value equation.

It’s a good month for data on what your peers are doing – this survey shows that “Chief Legal Officers are trying to find a new, more cost-effective and efficient balance of resources. They are reformulating their mix of in-house lawyers and staff, outside law firms, new technology tools, and non-law-firm vendors, in order to deliver quality and value to their corporate client.” That’s all “motherhood and apple pie” of course, but the data on what other law department leaders to achieve these goals may be very useful as you embark on budget discussions for 2014 with your C-suite colleagues. And on a more despairing note, the survey also found that “CLOs’ first choice for change in law firm services was improved budget forecasting, followed by greater cost reduction, more efficient project management and non-hourly based pricing structures. However, Chief Legal Officers appear to have little hope that law firms will rise to the challenge. For the fifth straight year, the survey asked CLOs to rate how serious law firms are about changing their legal service delivery model to provide greater value – and for the fifth year, the median rating was a dismal ‘3’ on a scale of 0 (not at all serious) to 10 (doing everything they can).”

And one more survey – this time on legal process outsourcing – endeavors to assess the reality vs. the hype in LPO usage.

How does the “hottest new forum for intellectual property fights: the Patent Trial and Appeal Board” factor into your staffing and budgeting processes for IP litigation? (sub. req’d)

BigLaw criticizes other BIgLaws for “excessive fees” in MF Global bankruptcy, arguing that “the court should appoint a fee examiner to investigate the work performed by the lawyers.”

The headline in the ABA Journal says it all: “Contract attorney faces felony overbilling case, allegedly claimed over 24 hours on 80 work days.”

Panel review news: Outcome of panel review by U.K. housing trust “is expected to save the housing trust between 20 and 45 per cent on legal spend.” State-owned Chinese energy company sticks with BigLaw for its international panel. Big U.K. energy company launches new panel review, although it “has also shown that it is prepared to go off-panel on certain mandates.”

Are we ready for GroupOn for lawyers? American Bar Association committee says maybe not: “While the Committee believes that coupon deals can be structured to comply with the Model Rules, it has identified numerous difficult issues associated with prepaid deals and is less certain that prepaid deals can be structured to comply with all ethical and professional obligations under the Model Rules.”

If like me you’re a fan of legal service prognosticator Richard Susskind’s books, you may find this present-day assessment of his first book – published 15+ years ago – of interest. (sub. req’d)

Strategies for managing the costs of non-practicing entity (NPE, a/k/a “patent troll”) lawsuits. (sub. req’d)

The judiciary gets in on the act, as the U.K.’s Lord Chief Justice suggests using Skype to facilitate near-shoring.

Down Under, the Australian reports that “the nation’s law firms faces an impending threat from captive firms that are tipped to be established by the biggest corporate consumers of legal services.”

Communication, education and flexibility are the key to success with AFA’s – from both the client and firm perspective.

If you’re implementing a contracts management system (CMS) or want to re-look at how you’re using it, this vendor report on automated contract abstraction may be worth downloading.

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

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