Partly adapted from
ACC Guide to Value-Based Fees – 2010
One of the benefits of following this framework is that it allows you
to identify distinct roles and requirements to guide both inside and outside
counsel and their teams as they jointly focus on legal and management issues.
These are also roles for additional support resources, like project managers,
service providers, and others who may assist in managing legal, financial
and operational components of your effort. But the core principles apply
regardless of who is performing the tasks and whether additional support
resources are available. If both internal and external resources are willing to
engage in candid dialogue and to execute on your selected approach, then
success is within reach.
TIP: “One of the best ways for a law department in Europe to begin getting greater value from
in-house resources and control external legal spend is to focus on a discrete legal area/or a range
of jurisdictions, in order to demonstrate impact. Areas of pan-European transaction work are
good areas to try this out, as well as certain securities-type functions, or discrete areas such as
IP, Employment and Real Estate.”
- Stuart Dodds, Director of Global Pricing & Project Management, Baker & McKenzie
3 A. Clarify what you seek to accomplish and why
You may have a clear idea in mind of what you want to do, and you are anxious to get started
and see some results. Before you jump in, it is important to step back and carefully consider the
foundation you will need to build in order to make lasting changes. Every in-house counsel in Europe
we’ve talked with who has had success in increasing value, has emphasized the importance of the first
phase of defining objectives and determining strategy and actions. If your initial presumptions are
incomplete or faulty, your approach will not be effective.
The articulation of your goals and objectives must be crystal clear (see Chapter 4,
Communications as a Value Lever), and input from all parties involved is necessary. It doesn’t need to
be a lengthy program–short discussions will suffice. But it’s important to create ‘buy-in.’ At all levels
of your in-house legal organization, across Europe and internationally, individuals should be able to
describe clearly in a few sentences, what you are trying to do. “Cutting costs” or “saving money” is
probably not enough–where does the value come from? When you explain to internal business clients
and other corporate functions this initiative, your explanation must be concise and compelling.