122 in-house lawyers have need for SPEED

Technology-led solutions are front of mind for many in-house teams but not for their law firms it seems.

In-house lawyers need a solution to the problem of dealing with day-to-day contracts, quickly.

In the foreword to the Winmark Looking Glass Report 2015, Sean Connolly of Mayer Brown indicates an emerging need for new ways of working:

“In many ways the conversation about how legal services – both high and low value – could be delivered is only just beginning. It is an exciting time for the sector and we need pragmatic and exploratory discussions between in-house lawyers about the way in which work is serviced and priced as part of a collaborative “what if” approach.”

Our experience is that the need has long since emerged; there are clients out there who have clear and current needs and have been seeking help for years.

Back in 2012 the Winmark CLO Network Case for Change report identified that 55% of General Counsel would like their business colleagues to take a more self-serve approach to the creation of low-risk and low value contracts. Only last week, we were approached directly by a PLC seeking to use technology to enable commercial colleagues to do more for themselves. Why, we wonder, didn’t they ask their panel law firms?

The Looking Glass Report 2015 surveyed 122 in-house lawyers and 160 law firm partners and evidenced the frequent disconnect between the priorities of firms and of their clients when it comes to technology:

“While firms focus on primary deliverables such as quality of work, technical expertise, service standards and strong relationships, the other factors that clients place much value on are virtually overlooked. Examples of these include offering retainers … thought leadership … and use of technology…

… in-house functions do see technology and innovation as a key opportunity and expect their suppliers to keep up, or even lead the way in this area.”

Day-to-day contractual matters for clients may not be the type of work that brings in the big bucks for the largest commercial firms and perhaps that’s why the majority leave their clients to fend for themselves, or free to turn to the likes of Axiom and its online contract services.

But servicing those daily needs will often be part of the relationship-management that causes a client to continue to instruct a firm when it comes to the more significant transactions as this example shows:

We met with the Managing Partner of a global Top 10 law firm and some of his leadership team. While some of that team wondered whether dealing with the day to day contractual matters was really a strategic focus for them as a firm, he reminded them that the firm had lost out on the appointment to a major utility company’s panel precisely because the firm couldn’t service the more prosaic contractual matters anywhere near as well it could deal with the larger but less frequent corporate transactions.

The Legal Service Platform can help you service your clients’ daily contractual needs more effectively and efficiently, enhance service levels to clients and margins for you. It can be rolled out in weeks to meet your clients needs, quickly. And delivering at speed to clients, means business development benefits to you.

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