months. Telstra and HSF developed bespoke, highly flexible processes covering the joint
Telstra/HSF legal team, and a value-based pricing model that incentivized efficiency.
Key features were:
• Agreed contract templates and negotiating playbooks with a pre-approved
“Departures Matrix” that outlined possible exceptions, constantly updated so all 100+
negotiations received real-time updates of approved deviations;
• Twice-weekly decision-making “war room” of all Telstra key stakeholders to provide
regular checkpoints to obtain definitive instructions to swiftly resolve “blockages;”
• Dynamic re-allocation of work between Telstra Legal and HSF “on the fly” based on
efficiency considerations (complexity, capacity, cost);
• Dedicated legal project manager from Telstra;
• HSF secondee acting as a liaison between HSF and Telstra (i.e., low-cost resource for
• Real-time tracking with a customized dashboard report providing predictability of
project progress and cost; and,
• 50 percent of time, effort, and fees incurred in up-front preparation before a single
contract negotiation commenced, paying significant dividends by project end.
This innovative approach resulted in a fee proposal that was less than 50 percent of competitor
firm proposals. Despite a 36 percent increase in the expected number of vendors and
significant timetable delays, legal fees were 69 percent of the estimate when the project
concluded (at which time 79 percent of vendor contracts had been signed, with the remainder
signed under different arrangements). Investing significant time up front to develop
state-of-the-art legal project management processes was a key to success. The
extensive templates, tools, and learnings from this project have formed the basis of Telstra’s
LPM intranet site, which is an invaluable tool used on all large cross-company transactions.