Advisers and supplier relationships
The proliferation of legal technologies and alternative legal service providers – both owned by and operating independently of law firms – offers more choice to in-house leaders than ever before about how they address their legal needs.
More in-house leaders are willing to use a broader range of legal service delivery models than ever before, including contract lawyers and project-based outsourcing, with significant levels of adoption of these models reported at present.
But this changing legal ecosystem poses a dilemma: how can buyers of legal services get more from their trusted law firm relationships while also capturing the benefits of the emerging legal technology ecosystem? How do they build up their knowledge of procuring alternative legal services to the same level as their knowledge of procuring services from law firms? To answer these questions, in-house leaders are rethinking their relationships with external suppliers. A small minority at the vanguard have begun to create panels for alternative legal providers and legal technologies alongside their law firm panels.
Lena Almefelt, General Counsel at private equity group EQT, who is one of the leaders interviewed for our report An innovation playbook for the 'future-fit' legal function, believes that efficiency in the resourcing model should be the top priority when operating a lean internal function and working with external legal service providers.
She says: “Efficiency means we don’t require everything from our legal providers to be tailor-made for us. Often the baseline is good enough when it comes to managing our transactions successfully. This means we will rely on a mix of legal providers to address our specific needs on any given transaction. Why would we want to pay a lot of money to have law firms run around in circles trying to please us unnecessarily?”
The lessons related to this stage of innovation are
- Lesson 9 - Harness the know-how of external partners to accelerate progress