Procurement has found the corporate legal department, even for mid-size companies. This means that corporations are providing expertise to their law departments so the corporate legal department derives more value from their providers and utilizes competition among providers as a means to reduce costs.
As corporations put more pressure on their company legal departments to control costs , in-house lawyers will require better forecasting of costs from their law firms. This will require law firms to be better financial managers. Corporate law departments and their internal clients will expect projects to be costed in various segments. Corporate law departments often want bills to be automated, timely and consistent with those forecasts, and for their law firms to consult with them when circumstances warrant a change from a forecast. Transparency in matter and case estimating, budgeting, reporting and billing will become an expectation of many global company law departments.
Stakes are high for global corporate legal departments given the fall-out from regulatory investigations and disputes, and Job 1 is to protect corporate reputation. GCs are under increased pressure to avoid corruption and ensure compliance. More and more of them are under scrutiny or have been indicted. Law firms serving these corporate legal departments must have a respected name and reputation, and the advice must truly fit the company’s objectives and help demonstrate compliance.
There is more focus on evaluation and reporting for corporate legal departments. More and more corporate legal departments want to measure how they’re doing with their internal clients. Some corporate legal departments are taking steps to improve their panel performance measurement and review efforts.
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