An ecosystem of providers is one way the legal services delivery model is now being perceived by legal department professionals, despite the continuing and “sacred” relationship in-house teams have with law firms, according to a new report.
The End of the Duopoly, a law department operations survey report by Blickstein Group and Consilio, said that in the past, corporate law departments could either do their work in-house, or they could send it to their law firms.
Now, the “ecosystem of providers”, as described by Consilio’s managing director Robin Snasdell, means “it’s no longer necessarily about which law firm partner went to law school with in-house counsel.”
Instead, “who does the work is optimally the right resource at the right cost with the right credentials,” Mr Snasdell explained.
Calling it “a revolution of sorts”, the report noted the advent of law department operations professionals “as key to making these new advances possible”, particularly across options such as alternative legal service providers and legal process outsourcing, alternative fee arrangements, AI, and use of automation, data mining and analytics.
The report noted that law department operations professionals are key to making these new advances possible.
Principal of the Blickstein Group, Brad Blickstein said the mission of law department operations professionals “is to bring business discipline to the law department”.
Mr Blickstein noted that “LDO professionals understand the pressure they face to succeed in these often-uncharted areas is usually cost-related”.
With such pressure, it should come as no surprise that “LDO professionals are exploring, and often embracing, new dew developments and opportunities”, the report stated.
According to the survey, nearly 90 per cent of LDO professionals agree that corporate law departments are the primary drivers of innovation and change in the legal sector.
Many of those respondents are looking to drive change by adopting technology to automate processes, with no shortage of legal technology on the market, the report said.
For Baker McKenzie’s global director of legal operations, David Cambria, the belief is that as LDO professionals “improve processes and develop better tools, they will increasingly expect that all of their providers will become better at operations as well”.
“Many are adapting to these new and increasing client demands – but many still have a great deal of room for improvement,” he continued.
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