We measure our progress by “Value Tracking.” We calculated average hourly costs for our BT legal
team (based on internal costs), United Lex and external law firms. Using time-keeping for each
resource category, we track monthly the costs for each type of provider, and produce a monthly
aggregated “Legal Value Index.”
Roles and action steps
1. We have involved everyone in the UK legal team in this effort, to arrive at and implement our
approach and track progress. We’ve connected project goals to individual objectives, incentives
2. We established a “legal front door,” managed by United Lex, where all appropriate requests for
legal work must be submitted. Using an agreed decision matrix, United Lex triage the work
based on its nature and complexity, then either perform the work themselves, or pass it to the
UK legal team. This ensures high-value/complex work is directed to higher cost/skilled UK legal
resource. Currently, about a third of appropriate work requests from the internal client are being
handled by United Lex. We incentivized our own staff to produce playbooks that systemized our
approach to repeatable tasks (such as the negotiation of basic agreements) and give United Lex a
quality framework to operate within which is consistent with BT’s corporate policies.
3. We expanded the number of tasks performed by United Lex, gave them extra training and
introduced quality checks on their work.
4. Communications and reporting: This initiative forms part of our overall Legal Strategy, which is
communicated regularly to the whole legal team (e.g., through regular strategy days and monthly
updates). This helps our lawyers understand and feel committed to our legal value aims, as well
as driving them up the value chain and offering them greater scope for development and career
After 12 months, we have been very satisfied with our result of increasing legal value by 15 percent,
and are on track for further increases.
Nearly one third of all requests for legal support are being handled by United Lex, enabling us to
shift a number of BT legal professionals to growth areas where we require support. We have reduced
outside counsel spend on commercial matters, which our internal team are better placed to deal with.
Our legal team is happy to be working closer to internal clients on higher value/risk transactions. We
now have an evaluation framework to serve as the basis for future initiatives.
Initially, the biggest challenge was taking the time to clearly understand the issues. There is an initial
challenge to put work that has traditionally been done by the in-house legal team to an LPO. This
requires a clear process, as well as the understanding of the legal team.