Credibility and visibility for legal procurement services in the in the Asia-Pacific are two of the chief aims of a new collaboration announced this week.
The move will see the Buying Legal Council (BLC), a US-based trade organisation, join forces with Australian tech start-up Lawcadia to build a local community for the region.
In a press release announcing the new relationship, the groups said they intend to offer support to legal procurement professionals and other in-house lawyers in the region.
The BLC and Lawcadia said the pairing offers a platform for effective networking, partnering and communication with stakeholders in the legal profession. The initiative comes at time when demand for a more defined community of legal procurement providers and users is growing, the statement said.
“The relatively new area of legal procurement is growing in importance in this region as organisations in both the public and private sector are demanding more value for their legal spend. They want improved pricing and service delivery from law firms, however, the legal industry is slow in responding to these demands.
“[This partnership] means that the Buying Legal Council can effectively develop and deliver programs and services that provide high-quality education to legal procurement and operations professionals in the Asia-Pacific region, just as it does in other regions across the globe,” the statement said.
According to Lawcadia CEO and founder Warwick Walsh (pictured), there is a strong regional appetite within the legal fraternity for a legal procurement-focused group.
“I have found that there is a small, tight-knit community of people interested and passionate about legal procurement and improving legal operations, and I am really excited about partnering with the Buying Legal Council in Asia-Pacific,” Mr Walsh said.
The BLC and Lawcadia also regard the new project as a timely response to general counsel frustrations about lack of transparency as it concerns legal spend. The groups suggested that common practices such as alternative fee arrangements and panels, for example, do not offer “the level of value, transparency and objectivity” general counsel demand.
“The focus of legal procurement is to make the buying of legal services more transparent,” the statement said.
The BLC is a membership trade organisation supporting professionals tasked with sourcing legal services and managing legal services supplier relationships.