On June 9, over 20 representatives from the legal vertical joined HBR Consulting and Intapp at Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York for an invitation-only Risk Roundtable. Participants from law firms and investment banking firms came together for a thoughtful discussion that included ideas and insight into how to improve the business acceptance process.
Last month, nearly a thousand members of the legal ecosystem from around the world came together at the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas for the second annual Corporate Legal Operations Consortium’s (CLOC) Institute. This year’s four-day conference attracted nearly twice the number of attendees as last year’s conference, and once again featured content-rich sessions and numerous networking opportunities.
With the 2017 Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) Institute just around the corner, leaders in legal operations are gearing up to spend three days sharpening their legal swords and networking among industry thought leaders. HBR is proud to be a Platinum sponsor and I look forward to seeing many of our clients, partners and friends there.
As corporate clients continue the journey toward operational excellence, law firms are being challenged to respond to corporate client requests to improve transparency and efficiencies. With corporate legal spending on outside counsel continuing to decrease – it was down 2 percent in 2016 according to our annual law department survey – we are seeing inside spending as a percentage of revenue exceed outside spending for the first time. This is resulting in law firms seeking ways to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market.
As the legal market continues to evolve, consultants have emerged as a key resource for addressing the challenges faced by law firms. Consultant engagements have also evolved, and law firm executives are not the only ones seeking help from legal consultants. In fact, 30-40 percent of consultant engagements are now initiated by stakeholders outside of the C-suite. This is dramatically different from 10 years ago, when consultants were mainly brought on by the executive team.
There is no denying the fundamental shift that is underway in the legal industry. Both law firms and corporate law departments are examining new metrics to track outcomes and report on success, leadership roles and responsibilities are expanding to keep pace with fluctuating market demand and law firm service delivery models are evolving to keep pace with corporate client demands. Cutting-edge law firms and law departments understand that in order to keep pace with change, they must actively draw and learn from clients, competitors and other thriving industries.
There is no denying the fundamental shift that is (and has been) underway in the legal industry. As a result, we are witnessing cutting-edge law firms striving to adopt more sustainable business models to meet evolving client needs. While it’s important to discuss theories behind why the legal market historically resists adapting to change, we believe a greater opportunity exists in focusing on how industry leaders can respond to and achieve success in today’s environment.
I recently participated in a podcast series to offer insight into how corporate legal departments can better manage their litigation spending by restructuring their e-discovery strategy. Aiming to alleviate some of the pain associated with e-discovery, the panel and I discussed the use of analytics in cutting costs and the value of approaching e-discovery as a business process. Our discussion included three important areas: review of the current landscape, existing cost drivers, and tips for a successful e-discovery strategy.
Many law firms are seeking to keep pace with the rapid changes occurring within the industry today. A law firm’s culture and structure are key factors as clients set requirements to ensure legal services meet their unique needs, firms’ attorney and staff expectations change with every generation and technologies evolve at the speed of light.
The 13th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum: Fostering Innovation in Law Firms provided domestic and global COO and CFOs with an opportunity to learn how their peers’ are approaching the ever popular theme of “innovation.” While many firms are embracing innovation, some are still in a state of resistance. Below are ten “take-aways” that we gathered from the day and a half-long forum.