This smallish department (six attorneys) used outsourcing, lean, value-based outside counsel relationships and technology to meet expanding
demands due to rapid growth.
The effective use of LPOs and playbooks allowed more expensive onshore resources to focus on high-value matters.
Billingsley notes. She says that the success of the RFP
also led the team to use RFPs for other chunks of
legal work that could be delegated to outside service
providers under capped and fixed-fee arrangements.
“This has resulted in more predictable outside
legal costs, faster turnaround of work and better
communication within ZS about expectations for the
cost and timing of legal work,” she says. In 2013, the
in-house legal department had a 30 percent increase
in legal matters that it was managing, including a 13
percent increase in master service agreements and a 34
percent increase in confidentiality agreements.
As its fourth step, the legal team
introduced automation and self-service
to client contracting support services.
Working with technology partner OnIt, a Dallas-based company, ZS designed and implemented a
customer service portal and a legal work request
submission and tracking tool. This did require some
internal change management.
“There was some internal resistance, and certain
pieces continue to require high touch,” says
Billingsley. “But our internal clients have new insight
at their fingertips through the dashboard; and for
people who were never going to use the tool, we
found ways around it.”
The transformation was really complete, she says. “All
of this has resulted in a fundamental change in how
our legal team thinks about accomplishing their work.
As we manage the flood of work more effectively, we
realize that transformation and reinvention can be an
So now that Billingsley is a Value Champion herself,
what advice does she have for readers seeking
inspiration? “Just go live,” she says. “The data was not
beautifully matched, but I was supportive of my team
in the belief that this could happen; we just had to
realize that it was okay to make the change.” n