Elizabeth Dilts, CorporateCounsel
A good international law firm can be hard to find. A recent study found 45 percent of North and Latin American organizations had to fire the international law firms they hired to provide legal services in foreign markets.
The study from LexisNexis and Martindale-Hubbell, “The Selection and Retention of International Law Firms,” asked 157 in-house counsel in Canada, the U.S., and Latin America about the legal services they sought in foreign countries in 2011, how they found them, and how satisfied they were as clients. (read the article)
In-house counsel can take a lesson from the teamwork-heavy sport
Janice Block, InsideCounsel
Earlier this summer, the senior leadership team at my company engaged in a series of team-building sessions. The results were phenomenal, in large part because each of the participating leaders was open to the exercises and committed to the ultimate goal of becoming a high-performing team. (read the article)
Rockwell Automation’s internal legal and intellectual property department needed a solution to alleviate disorganization and improve onsite and remote workflow practices. The department also wanted to set an example for the company with regard to information security and records management. The challenge was to provide a system specifically tailored to the legal department’s needs, which would be easy to use and also provide sufficient structure for integrated information security and records management. (download the case study)
Ron Friedman, Prism Legal
A new report delivers more bad news about US large law firm performance. What should management do?
The just-released Hildebrandt Institute Q2 Peer Monitor Report observes “warning signs are emerging that the remainder of the year could pose numerous difficulties… A combination of lethargic demand, weak rate growth and struggles to restrain costs will make it challenging for firms to achieve meaningful revenue and profitability growth.” The report suggests that in this market, “strategy and execution are becoming more critical than overall market conditions in determining individual firm performance.”
What does it mean for a law firm to have a strategy or to execute? Four recent items news items suggest some answers: (read the post)
Julie McMahon, Legal Technology News
And competitive bidding is catching on in a growing number of legal departments. A recent report, “Speaking Different Languages: Alternative Fee Arrangements for Law Firms and Legal Departments,” by ALM Legal Intelligence, in conjunction with LexisNexis, confirms that other companies and the law firms they work with are jumping on the bandwagon. (ALM Legal Intelligence, like Corporate Counsel, is owned by ALM.) Of those companies responding to the survey, 20 percent of their legal departments indicated they had instituted a “reverse auction,” or competitive bidding, on high-volume and repetitive legal work; 36 percent of firms surveyed said they had been asked to participate in such a bidding process. (read the post)
Use actionable data for smarter staffing and accurate fee forecasting
Craig Raeburn, InsideCounsel
As the business of law continues to evolve, corporate law and claims departments and law firms must identify new ways to optimize spend and increase efficiencies. The solution may be right in your hands: the big data housed in your daily operations.
It is clear that the business of law is advancing to a state in which understanding the data and facts related to pricing and staffing will be the difference between success and failure. To successfully accomplish this, law departments must transform their use of data from historical reporting to advanced analytics, not only understanding what happened, but also understanding why it happened and how to respond. (read the article)
Adrian DaytonAll Articles, The National Law Journal
There is no replacement for face-to-face interaction, but for international firms with money to burn, Cisco Systems Inc. has created something that comes close with its telepresence software. A number of large law firms now have this technology installed in their offices. According to multiple sources, this telepresence seems incredibly real — it’s as though you are in the same room. This can save firms tens of thousands of dollars on yearly travel costs. This incredible technology, however, is also very expensive. What if there were a more inexpensive option that any firm or company could use?
There is, and — get this — it’s free. It is called Skype. (read the article)
Best Legal Departments 2012: Best of the Rest
Shannon Green, CorporateCounsel
In June we recognized the lawyers at four companies as Corporate Counsel’s Best Legal Departments. We also found much to admire in the other nominees. Here is the first installment of a series of snapshots of the 2012 finalists. (read the article)
Rees Morrison, Law Department Management
Kraig Washburn, the General Counsel of Flexera, spoke at the recent InsideCounsel SuperConference about his department’s use of Salesforce software. His department has about four lawyers and four other staff. In 2011, they handled about 4,000 requests for assistance, among which were about 700 negotiated software agreements. (read the post)
Rees Morrison, Law Department Management
A point made at the InsideCounsel SuperConference by Kraig Washburn, the General Counsel of Flexera, is sound. He includes in his corporate headcount one or two contract lawyers who have been working for him for a long time. They do not get benefits, it is true, but it gives a more accurate picture of the law department to count them as employed lawyers. (read the post)