Blog

New Roles at HBR to Enhance Client Collaboration and Alignment

Nick Quil | January 28, 2019

We recently published a whitepaper, “The Edge Effect of the Legal Ecosystem,” comparing corporate law departments’ and law firms’ roles in the legal ecosystem to adjoining ecological habitats. In ecology, the term “edge effect” refers to the boundary of two or more different habitats, where scientists find greater diversity of life, including unique species that are specially adapted to the conditions of the zone where the two habitats come together. Similarly, in their respective legal habitats today’s corporate law departments and law firms face different market pressures and have different resulting needs. Law departments are seeing an increased demand for legal services without associated budget growth, a heightened focus on risk management and cybersecurity, and an increasingly complex regulatory environment. Law firms face increasing competition for legal work, changing client relationships, and a tight market for strong talent. These respective pressures conflict in many...

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10 Questions to Ask Your Managed IT Services Provider

Matt Gillis | January 23, 2019

The emerging law firm strategy of moving to a managed IT services model — in which an expert services provider assumes responsibility for the firm’s IT systems and operations — is gaining traction as we head into 2019. This model enables law firms to turn over their day-to-day IT infrastructure support requirements to an outside company that is able to deliver these services at a lower cost and with greater efficiency. As a result, the firms can reassign their full-time IT staff members toward higher value functions that propel the business, rather than worrying about who is making sure the systems are running and the data is secure.

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#SOLID18 London Reveals Accelerated Innovation and Emerging Best Practices

Chris Ryan | December 10, 2018

The Summit on Legal Innovation and Disruption (SOLID) held in London on November 7 provided a view into the rate of transformation, primarily from the lens of the UK and Europe. The action-packed, daylong event included 15 TED-style talks and “fireside chats” (sans the fire), along with brainstorming sessions among the participants. SOLID London 2018 was produced by The Cowen Group in association with Baker McKenzie. HBR Consulting was one of several partnership sponsors. The aim of each Summit is to gather legal professionals for an exchange of ideas about the intersection of innovation, advanced technology and the business of law. Most of the attendees and speakers at the London forum were EMEA-based corporate counsel, providing a unique view into innovation in law departments outside the United States.

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Three Steps to Gain Firm Leaders’ Buy-In for Procurement Investments

Clay Fox | December 06, 2018

HBR recently held its annual Procurement Roundtable, an invitation-only gathering of 25+ law firm procurement leaders. In connection with the Roundtable, HBR surveyed the participants on a variety of procurement-related topics ranging from organizational information for benchmarking through current front-of-mind topics / priorities, including investment in procurement technology solutions. These technology solutions are a key tool that can help a procurement function on multiple fronts. They improve operational efficiency and, through controls, mitigate risk, as well as help with tracking, monitoring and reporting key performance metrics that can aid in promoting the procurement function’s value proposition.

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Seven Steps to Improve Law Firm Compliance With Outside Counsel Guidelines

Kristy Safos | November 26, 2018

Back in the day, law firms and clients usually set forth the terms governing their relationships in standard engagement letters. But more recently, as bargaining power has shifted away from law firms and toward clients, organizations have begun to document their expectations for outside counsel in increasingly long and detailed guidelines.

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Why Your Organization Needs a Data Map

Laurie Fischer | November 15, 2018

At this year’s annual ARMA Live! Conference in Anaheim, we conducted an informal survey of the 300+ visitors to our booth, asking a single question: “What is your greatest information governance challenge today?” We received a variety of responses including:

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Office 365 Teams: The Surprising Disruptor

Laurie Fischer | November 15, 2018
October was once again packed with conferences, from large international events to smaller regional and industry-specific seminars and roundtables. If there was one word that was thematic across all of these events this year, it was “disruption.” It has lead me to ask, “what is the most disruptive innovation today related to how we manage, control and govern our information?” While the GDPR and burgeoning international, sectoral and national data privacy and security laws may first come to mind, they are reactive regulations to the growing threat of cyberattack, ransomware assaults and security breach. Responding to these malevolent actions certainly requires organizations to re-think their approach to information security and develop enhanced programs and processes, but I wouldn’t characterize these as disruptive innovations. Actual disruption is taking place right in front of us changing the way almost all of us work and interact with technology on a daily basis. It’s called...
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Law Firms Must Act With Urgency to Keep Pace With Law Department Analytics Maturity

Kevin Clem | November 12, 2018

I had a clear message to deliver to those in attendance when I took the stage at this year’s International Legal Technology Conference (ILTACON): law departments are gathering, centralizing and sharing more data than ever, and many law firms are lagging behind. During the presentation, “Data Gathering and Sharing by GCs,” I was joined by Ron Katcher, director and senior corporate counsel at Qlik Technologies, and Paul Nicandri, chief service delivery officer at DLA Piper. We took a deep dive into how law departments and law firms are (or are not) using analytics, highlighted the disparities between law departments and law firms, and offered some suggestions to law firms about making better use of data analytics to bolster their relationships with clients. Here are some key takeaways from our session.

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How Law Firms Can Assess and Adapt to Changing Skill Needs for Information Governance

Terry Coan | November 06, 2018

As law firms recognize the growing importance of an information governance (IG) strategy, they are beginning to think about how they can transform traditional records management (RM) staff into true IG professionals. This shift, which is driven by increasing regulatory demands and pressure from clients for stronger security, is making firms realize that IG requires a much broader set of skills than records management.

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Law Firm Library Services: Four Questions to Guide Strategic Budgeting

Donna Terjesen | October 25, 2018

Fall is officially here, and many of us are already enjoying colorful leaves and cooler weather. Along with these pleasures of the season, many law firms are also gearing up for another budget cycle. While the annual process of reviewing prior spend and projecting future costs can be time-consuming, it is worthwhile to use budget season as a time to reflect on changes in your firm’s environment and plan strategically for future research and information needs.

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