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Legal Enterprise Management

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Legal Enterprise Management: A new Level of Control for Corporate Legal Departments

Legal Enterprise Management: A new Level of Control for Corporate Legal Departments


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  • 1. rich hall and Brian Johnson Bridgeway software Legal Enterprise Management: A New Level of Control for Corporate Legal Departments A s legal and IT departments face the IT groups with the relevant, contextual information continuing challenge of decreasing that will enable them to make the business decisions risk, reducing costs and optimizing necessary for reducing the risk for the corporations the outcomes of their legal processes, they serve. Historically, e-discovery, matter what they need more than ever is a management and legal spend management have all new level of control over the legal enterprise. This been separate, yet fundamental, parts of the legal control will come through empowering the legal and organization with separate islands of information. 34 Case/Matter Management ILTA White Paper
  • 2. When corporate legal departments bridge model helps to mitigate some risk, it comes at all their disparate in-house legal and corporate the detriment of cost control and matter analysis, governance information, they obtain the power as a single processing pass of the data can take to control in-house legal operations and achieve weeks to complete. With this cost- and time- a cohesive legal enterprise practice. This is legal intensive model, in-house legal departments enterprise management, which unifies previously can’t predict the litigation costs associated with siloed information from across the corporate legal a given case. But by bringing the e-discovery department with the purpose of allowing the in-house process in house, many organizations have legal department to leverage their corporate realized cost and risk reductions and gained information to work smarter, more efficiently and more control over the process. cost-effectively. The ability of in-house counsel to iteratively process information using progressive search eleCTrOniC disCOvery: COnTrOlling terms in days rather than weeks offers a level of yOur liTigATiOn sPend control over the case that was impossible with E-discovery is generally defined as the process the outsourced model. In-house e-discovery of identifying, preserving, collecting, processing, brings an enormous cost benefit, as a company reviewing, analyzing, producing and presenting isn’t paying for multiple passes over a set of electronically stored information for legal review. The data. Additionally, there is more time to analyze stages of e-discovery are depicted by the Electronic the output of your e-discovery efforts, allowing Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), which offers for better litigation decisions and therefore guidelines and standards for e-discovery consumers reduced risk. and providers. Recent efforts around e-discovery While bringing the e-discovery process in have focused on ways to expand electronic discovery house offers tangible cost and risk benefits to processes into cost savings and efficiency initiatives, in-house legal groups, e-discovery software including early case assessment. solutions focus primarily on litigation cost The current strategy of in-house management management. But there are additional costs of the e-discovery process is a critical step to legal related to adjudicating a case that fall outside enterprise management and gives corporate legal the e-discovery processes, such as interaction groups control over litigation costs while also with outside counsel. This is typically the purview reducing risk. The in-house e-discovery strategy was of the legal spend management solution. adopted in response to unpredictable (and some However, by bridging e-discovery and legal would say runaway) costs that occur when using spend management information, in-house a service provider in an outsourced, per-gigabyte counsel gains access to all the costs associated e-discovery model. with a matter, rather than just the outside Consider the effects on just the processing phase counsel spend or just the litigation spend. This of the e-discovery process: While the outsourced means that not only does in-house counsel now www.iltanet.org Case/Matter Management 35
  • 3. • Enterprise Matter • Electronic Billing Management • Timekeeper Management • Outside Counsel Collaboration Tools/ Workspace Matter Legal Spend • Rule-based Auditing and Approval Worklfows • Document Management Management Management • Budgets and Accurals Systems • Alternative Fee • Metrics and Busines Arrangements Intelligence • Legal Hold • Entity and Subsidiary Management • Collection • Advanced Org Charting • Early Case Assesment and Reporting Corporate E-Discovery • Process/Review/ • Board of Directors Book Governance Production Management/Portal • Project Management/ • SEC Filing Management Metrics/Business Intelligence have control over their litigation costs, but they can With a legal spend management solution in place, also make more informed decisions on the disposition in-house legal departments can control the entire of the case. invoicing process (including electronic submission, approval and payment), time-keeping functions and legAl sPend MAnAgeMenT: comparative analysis of budgeted versus actual costs. COnTrOlling yOur OuTside Rule-based auditing and approval workflows save COunsel COsTs an enormous amount of time by streamlining and Legal spend management brings together the simplifying their entire invoice process. Sophisticated technology and best practices needed to coordinate all reporting capabilities improve legal spend analysis, of the resources, processes and procedures required to helping to identify key cost drivers to provide greater effectively manage spending on outside legal services. control over expenses. The specific elements of legal spend management Legal enterprise management takes the often include processing electronically submitted information inherent to the legal spend management invoices, managing budgets and evaluating, monitoring solution and combines it with information from the and measuring future legal spend. in-house e-discovery solution, bridging both pools of 36 Case/Matter Management ILTA White Paper
  • 4. a new level of control for corPoration legal dePartments information. This is a powerful tool for controlling the The matter management solution is costs associated with e-discovery efforts. often viewed as the hub from which the For example, most legal spend management operational control of the legal department solutions have the ability to automate the rate of is managed. With the right solution in place, outside firms working on a litigated matter. Through legal departments not only have the ability to the integration of data, in-house counsel obtains automate the workload of the legal group, but the ability to automatically enforce rules governing also manage operational costs. e-discovery spend associated with that matter. Matter management is an important tool in While this example focuses on the power for achieving streamlined efficiency. However, the controlling the costs associated with e-discovery in-house legal department also gains immense efforts, this automated cost control can, of course, be control with the addition of historical and real-time focused on controlling all of the outside counsel costs. information gleaned from other legal enterprise applications. This information aids in delivering MATTer MAnAgeMenT: COnTrOlling context to the matter at hand. By connecting the yOur OPerATiOnAl COsTs information from the matter management solution Corporate legal departments use matter with the e-discovery and legal spend management management systems to manage and control all solutions, corporate legal departments are their legal matters on a day-to-day basis, including developing a complete, integrated legal enterprise opening and closing matters, daily matter work, management environment that puts them in workload assignment, management and forecasting, control like never before. outside counsel collaboration, and litigation metrics For example, take a matter for which a and performance measurement. corporate legal group is leveraging information In addition to the growing cost of litigation, from across the legal enterprise. They can corporate legal departments are faced with ever- know exactly what their overall spend on a increasing case loads made even more challenging matter is to date in real time, and compare it by resource constraints. To meet their growing legal to similar matters that they have worked on in matter management demands, general counsels rely the past to understand, at a given point, if they on matter management solutions that provide: are at a higher rate or a lower expense basis. Further, they can look at how far they are in the • immediate access to detailed information on any e-discovery process and mark how much more legal matter, past or present they need to analyze to be complete. Using knowledge of the current internal • better management of staff time and resources expense paired with their outside counsel expense, they can then predict how much more • improved control over internal and external matter the case is going to cost. With this complete management costs through business rule automation picture, they can start making decisions on www.iltanet.org Case/Matter Management 37
  • 5. whether to settle or take the suit further. Perhaps they Top Five Benefits of Legal can negotiate an alternative fee arrangement with Enterprise Management: their primary outside firm to ensure they stay within budget while still moving forward. • Connect the dots: Modular applications This information — previously disparate — is now that each deliver high individual value can consolidated in a way that it can be brought to bear work together to produce a leveraged effect, on the case at hand, giving a new level of control for allowing you to base your decision-making on information from your entire enterprise. in-house legal departments. • Control work: Shared information legAl enTerPrise MAnAgeMenT: The and insights across your in-house legal new level Of COnTrOl department create the connections that As more general counsel see the real-time benefits drive more informed decisions. of reducing costs while decreasing risks through the • Understand costs: By tying together bridging of disparate information, they will continue your e-discovery, legal spend and matter to expand their risk management and cost-saving management solutions, you have the initiatives by reviewing contextual information in new ability to see the litigation costs, the ways, leading them to effectively manage the outcomes operational costs and the outside counsel costs together both in real time and of their legal processes. against historical data. This gives you Legal enterprise management equips corporate unprecedented insight and control over legal teams with integrated information that your legal spend. incorporates historical and real-time litigation trends, spend and e-discovery data as they execute their • Control costs: Once you can see your costs, you have a basis for reducing them. litigation strategies. By integrating e-discovery, legal spend and While each of these solutions delivers high matter management, you have a unified individual value, leveraging them in unison allows view that empowers you to manage it more general counsels and their in-house teams to base effectively, with a clear view of costs across decision-making on information from the entire the legal enterprise. enterprise. General counsels will have a new level of • Collaborate more effectively: Exchange performance that provides the power to effectively information and manage workflows among control all aspects of their legal enterprise. ilTA both internal colleagues and external counsel with unsurpassed speed and ease. Transcend departmental boundaries Podcast: click here to listen as Andy Adkins, President of Adkins Consulting Group, talks with with processes that promote seamless Monica Bay, Editor of Law Technology News, collaboration. ilTA about case/matter management systems and a recent survey. 38 Case/Matter Management ILTA White Paper