“An excellent first step is to encourage your providers to give you greater (and more granular)
reporting of matter status. This reduces ‘surprises’, provides the general counsel with better visibility of
law firm capabilities by jurisdiction or practice, and helps strengthen the client—law firm relationship.
This also will encourage the law firms to better manage, control and review matters for future
- Laurie Robertson, Global Business Development & Marketing, Baker & McKenzie
1 C. Why is this important now?
The Business Case
Companies are changing the way they buy legal services–gradually in some instances and
drastically in others. The hourly rate billing model that has ruled for decades is giving way to a greater
focus on terms emphasizing value delivered instead of time spent. This is evident from anecdotal
accounts at legal industry conferences, and is defined even more clearly in recent client survey data.
The Guide to the ACC Value Challenge in Europe is spurred by corporate law departments’
realization that they must address efficiency and productivity in light of several factors:
•;increasing complexity of corporate structure, products and services;
•;expansion into numerous high-growth and emerging markets where significant legal support
•;growing regulation and stringent regulatory enforcement, requiring enhanced compliance
•;the uncertain economy, squeezing corporate profit margins, which pressures the legal
function to stabilize or reduce costs.
In 2012 research*, senior corporate counsel in 21 countries across greater Europe responded
that their greatest concern is to “meet demand for our services given resource constraints.” Their three
most important priorities for their legal function in the next year are:
1. Improve compliance capability;
2. Reduce external costs of the legal function; and
3. Reorganize/restructure function for higher performance and productivity.
Many of their secondary priorities were connected to these top priorities:
•;improve contracting management support;
•;improve knowledge management capability;
•;work more effectively together within the corporate legal function;
•;offer better professional development for our legal professionals; and
•;improve our management of law firms and other providers.
*WLG Global Agenda: Issues and Priorities for Senior Corporate Counsel Worldwide, see page 11.