Significant Opportunities Exist to Reduce Law Department Spend, Without Compromising Service or Value

Unbiased Consulting understands that a key measure in assessing law department performance is its ability to effectively control internal costs and manage outside counsel spend. Unbiased can lead you to develop effective monitoring and control policies, procedures and systems in the core competencies of financial management and vendor management.

With 30 years of experience in financial and vendor performance and administration, Unbiased Consulting offers comprehensive spend management services to legal departments with an eye to assessment and recommendations for consistent and transparent cost control measures and practices. Key areas of focus include:

Labor Spend–who should be doing the work;
Process Spendhow the work should be done;
Technology Spendwhat tools should be used in support of savings initiatives.

Who should be doing the work? Unbiased consultants review your current labor breakdown (by matter type, category, etc.) to identify internal and vendor resource allocation—in-house, law firm or alternative legal service provider (ALSP). We identify potential areas of labor savings by assessing (1) current and anticipated staffing needs and available resources (by matter type); (2) billing methods (e.g., T&M, fixed fees, etc.); and (3) staffing models—both insourced and outsourced (law firms and ALSPs). Our deliverable is a labor savings analysis as well as recommendations and a roadmap for getting there.

Our recommendations also include assessment and reengineering of operational and service delivery processes. In this step, we meet with department leadership and practice group representatives to identify processes for cost savings optimization. We then map current and future state processes (work breakdown structure) to show where labor, process and technology change can lead to increased cost savings. Our deliverables include current and future state (cost-optimized) process workflows and recommendations.

How should the work be done? We provide a detailed report in analysis and assessment of operational (business of law) and service delivery (practice of law) performance/value measurements. Efforts include review of current operations and service delivery metrics as they relate to in-house operations staff and legal practitioners as well as third-party service providers, law firms and ALSPs. We then (1) analyze and assess past and current performance against metrics to deliver a process spend baseline analysis; (2) identify target operations and service delivery metrics to deliver target process metrics in support of financial and vendor performance objectives; and (3) develop a metrics measurement strategy.

What should be used in support of savings initiatives? Our analysis of technology spend begins with a review and assessment of current systems design and data architecture strategy to identify recommended technology cost savings opportunities. Efforts also include review of third-party technology contracts to identify terms and conditions amendable to cost reduction through renegotiation or modification.

Work concludes with identification and development of appropriate data metrics capture and report delivery mechanisms. To achieve tool set optimization in support of this objective, we work with your team and software vendors to specify/document, build/configure and deploy needed data, forms, reports, dashboards, Intranet portals and other data capture/delivery mechanisms.

A Practical View of Unbiased Consulting Law Department Deliverables

In summary, legal spend management services provide:

  • a comprehensive assessment of current legal spend and recommendations and
  • roadmap for implementation of cost reduction measures, practices and support systems. 

Deliverables include some or all of the following:

  • labor savings analysisleverage and/or select resources in support of “right task, right skill”
  • process efficiency baseline assessment reduce cost of internal business operations and legal practice processes
  • cost-optimized process workflowsoptimize vendor selection and use of in-house/external resources in performing assigned tasks and responsibilities
  • target metricspromote desired financial and performance objectives and trend spotting
  • data capture and reporting strategygather target metrics to measure and communicate outcomes
  • technology optimization adviceidentify/specify forms, reports, dashboards, and other required data capture/delivery mechanisms
  • technology contract reviewrenegotiate favorable terms in technology and service contracts

In summary, Unbiased Consulting finds that the level of cost savings found, pays for itself.  This focus often enables double digit percentage savings in legal spend from improved labor allocation, process efficiency and technology optimization.