Deputy General Counsel & Director of Litigation, MSA Safety; and Vincent
Montalto, Litigation Counsel, BASF Corporation. The 2018 crop now joins
a community of Champions that convenes annually, in person, to share
lessons learned as they continue to drive value in their organizations.
Many of this year’s Champs encountered a tipping point of their own, a threshold over which they
stepped to create their winning initiatives. For example, the law department at Ocwen Financial
Corporation was challenged by staggering demand: the need to review 15,000 agreements and
documents in only two months. Deputy General Counsel Adrienne Coffin and her team stepped
up with a radical proposal to do things differently on a number of levels: assign initial reviews to an
offshore Legal Process Outsourcer, leverage technology and artificial intelligence, and use outside
counsel as subject matter experts, ensuring a division of labor and responsibility based on skill set
as well as expertise. Ocwen worked with co-Champs QuisLex, Hunton Andrews Kurth, and Orrick,
Herrington & Sutcliffe on the project.
At Tahal Group BV, the nature of the challenge was different but the need for a new approach
equally pressing: As new General Counsel Moshe Shalev joined the company, he found every GC’s
nightmare: a legal department everyone in the business loved to hate. Annual outside legal spend
was unrestrained and exceeded US$1.5 million. Through patience, persistence and process improvement—and, one would guess, no small measure of charm—Shalev succeeded in transforming the
law department into a resource that is valued and sought out by the business side.
The boiling point was definitely reached at DXC Technology, as General Counsel Bill Deckelman
was challenged with delivering on promised “synergies” when two companies merged, which
amounted to an aggressive cost reduction mandate of 35 percent. Deckelman worked with
UnitedLex CEO Dan Reed to craft the largest managed legal services transaction ever, which
included the transition of legal department members from DXC employees to UnitedLex, which
now provides legal support to DXC in more than 26 global jurisdictions.
Ocwen Financial and DXC weren’t the only Champs to turn to alternative legal service providers.
Being thoughtful about tiers of work and distribution methodology is easier said than done.
7-Eleven Corporation turned to the SeyfarthLean consulting arm of Seyfarth Shaw to devise a
work allocation solution for its real estate portfolio, which was overwhelming in-house counsel. The
result is a creative hybrid insourced/outsourced model that divides work based on type of matter.
Seyfarth Shaw took value-based sourcing a step further by moving low-cost work like title and
survey review to its Real Estate Hub in Atlanta.
The legal department at Danaher Corporation hit its tipping point with frequent and often repetitive labor and employment law queries from its 20-plus operating companies worldwide. To inform
the design of a value-based sourcing model, the internal team tracked their own time and activities to generate critical data. The three-part solution includes a new internal portal populated with
toolkits and best practices that are regularly updated; and a helpline that internal clients can call to
get real-time legal advice for routine labor and employment issues. Outsourced to and staffed by
Seyfarth Shaw, the helpline saved Danaher more than US$100,000 in its first year.
At Monsanto, the nature of the challenge was toxic tort asbestos litigation nationwide. The
portfolio was being handled by 17 local law firms, and the management of the spend was simply