How Legal Ops is Informing Legal Spend Management

Progressive legal ops professionals are changing the landscape of legal spend management.  Here’s what they’re doing:

Leveraging data: If your legal department is like most, anecdotal commentary reigns supreme. However, it’s the data that is most effective in evaluating your outside firms and identifying those most integral to the business. Highlighting your top performing law firms, your most utilized timekeepers and the practice areas with the highest spend is the first step to driving tangible discussion with your stakeholders. Data is the language of your CFO and board, and it speaks volumes about the details of your legal spend at large.  

Driving the details that matter: Law firm annual rate increases are routinely scrutinized by legal ops professionals, but these details are superficial and only tell part of the spend story. Leveraging modern technology that surfaces the granularities of your department’s outside counsel utility and spend will provide insights that:

  • Distinguish between routine and ‘bet the business’ work
  • Identify billing patterns associated with historical relationships and practice areas
  • Track YoY rate increases and ongoing billing practices of your timekeepers by matter type

Detailed analysis that considers both quantitative and qualitative variables is an indication of a performant legal operation and enables you to present opportunities to the GC and CFO with credibility.

Partnering with finance: You might work for the GC, but the CFO should be considered a strategic partner. The most highly functioning legal departments are viewed as strategic spend centers, not cost-centers, and shifting this perspective is the first step to aligning with your CFO. Developing a data-backed spend framework that accurately tiers your legal matters and enables you to leverage your top legal talent with efficiency sets the foundation for outcome-based collaboration and long-term success. 

How is your legal department driving change?  

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