Buying Legal 2019 In Review – Top Three Takeaways

This week, our team was pleased to participate in the Buying Legal Council’s 2019 Legal Procurement Conference in New York. We were especially encouraged by the theme, “Data-Driven Decision Making.”

A big highlight for the meeting was that our CEO Raj Goyle presented on our legal data platform. The format was more or less a TED Talk, with a great round of Q&As to follow. A key theme from his presentation? In the “new normal” of Big Law, money and data rule.

Check it out HERE

There were many great presenters and good ideas discussed. Here are ​top 3 buzzy takeaways from the day​ on changing trends in buying legal.

Takeaway 1​​ – from “​Connecting your Data and Strategy for the Best ROI” by​ ​Dr. Guenther Dobrauz, PricewaterhouseCoopers

“Data enables [legal] procurement to become a strategic function, which has a huge impact to the bottom line.”

Dr. Dobrauz knocked it out of the park with this. After a discussion on the history of legal tech and the potential futures, he made the point we often discuss with our clients. Big data and machine learning technologies have enabled companies to optimize their spend in ways that were literally impossible just a few years ago.

This is exactly how Bodhala saves our clients millions: by enabling them to realize greater value in their spend. With the adoption of more data-driven strategies, our clients are able to analyze, interpret, and optimize their legal spend.

Takeaway 2​​ – from a p​anel discussion with Louise Firestone, LVMH Inc., Andy Krebs, Intel, Leigh Vickery, Level 2 Legal Solutions

“Look at what we can do when we have the data.” (A whole lot, it turns out!)

Intel’s Andy Krebs discussed how when Intel was faced with frustrations on legal billing, the computer company developed an internal system to evaluate spend and negotiate with outside counsel. To get there, they looked at looked at increases, with weighted average, rather than preferred firms. They then took that data to project what they’d spend in 2019 and 2020–essentially creating an internal legal spend benchmark.

Of course, making this kind of change is a monumental task, and Intel is uniquely positioned to make those investments. By using Bodhala’s proprietary platform, general counsels can achieve this same benchmarking for their legal department for a fraction of the time and resources Intel invested. And this benchmarking is just the start: our one-of-a-kind database and machine learning insights are unmatched, and provide our clients with value they previously thought impossible.

Takeaway 3​​ – from a p​anel discussion with Adrienne Fox, Novartis, Milly Parekh, Johnson & Johnson, Joel Stern, NAMWOLF, Erin Hichman, Diversity Lab, Kimberly Brown Blacklowc, Cleary Gottlieb, Jonathan Lovitz, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce

Legal talent diversity and inclusion are not optional, and firms are on notice.

Here’s some shots with great anecdotes from the discussion:

It’s a trend that companies large and small are taking meaningful steps to live by values of inclusion, but unfortunately some of their vendors haven’t been keeping up. The message is clear: diversity in legal spend must be actionable and accountable.

By using our one-of-a-kind talent platform, Bodhala enables companies with granular insights into the diversity of their legal talent, and maps practical strategies on improving performance on finding the best talent from the most diverse pool possible.

It’s rewarding to hear about companies adopting this data-driven approach because we’ve seen the power to be had in the insights they gain. We know as more forward-looking general counsels and CFOs start asking these tough questions about their spend, the better the marketplace will be.

In the meantime, we want to talk to you about taking your operation to the next level. Contact us at [email protected]. and let’s have a discussion about how you can get data-driven results from your spend.


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