Benefits of Legal Operations and eBilling
Last week in a meeting with a prospect client I was asked straight up about the cost of LSG’s Advocator System®, which allows for eBilling and automation of legal operations. Did not have a chance to discuss benefits and from the question it did not seem that the prospective clients was that interested in how their company could benefit. It was all about costs. Funny thing though was that this person did not seem to question the cost of legal service with the same passion as they questioned me.
Afterwards I was reflecting on how I felt the meeting went. What I have described above is not uncommon and I think is a reflection on how corporate management are focusing their attention on the cost of change without taking into account cost of current operation plus showing little regard for demonstrable benefits that can be achieved. Having a robust enterprise legal management solution which could include Advocator System®, brings about a number of quantifiable benefits.
- Transparency across the whole organisation of where legal spend is being incurred, why it is occurring and how much it is costing. This is often considered irrelevant but consider a tax department within a large banc assurance firm where 2 staff members asked separate legal firms for the same tax advice. The 2 staff were unaware of what the other had done – wasted cost $60,000. With transparency this wasted cost would not have happened. How many times within large organisations is this duplicate effort happening every day and at what cost to the company.
- Consistency with legal bill reviews where the algorithms within Advocator System® treat every legal invoice the exact way. In a department of people who are scrutinizing legal invoices there is bound to be inconsistencies within the team based on experience and effort. Automation of legal bill reviews can bring about a 5-15% savings in legal fees as discrepancies are more consistently raised.
- Measurement of legal firms SLA’s gives a twofold benefit. Firstly it allows a company to measure across each measure how the legal firms are performing and manage those firms accordingly. Secondly it give the legal firms understanding of what service the company values, so gives them some service goals to perform to. Brings about an increase in service – win win for all parties.
- Automation of the eBilling process reduces administration effort and cost, speeds up payments to legal firms, and increases efficiency across your business. It is always hard to see at an individual staff member basis just how much time and effort across the company it takes. Think admin, finance, customer support, accounts payable, procurement and operations – it is normal for people in all those departments to spend some time of their day concerned with invoices and reporting.
- Reporting allows knowledge to disseminate throughout the company and enables closer management of the whole legal process. This means ability to make decisions around legal strategy, underperforming legal firms and staff, understanding behaviour and how it can drive outcomes.
- Increases the company’s ability to proactively manage matters bringing about savings in not only legal costs, but in settlements.
Looking at legal operations not as a cost, but as an opportunity to drive better outcomes and benefits, will allow any company considering a different approach to legal vendor management to make those decisions with greater confidence.