Legal Operations Growth: How is Data at the Core of Financial Services and Insurance Legal Departments?

This afternoon, Bodhala participated in Consero’s virtual conference – Legal Operations for Financial Services and Insurance: What’s Next for Legal Ops?

Bodhala CEO, Raj Goyle, led legal operations leaders from financial services and insurance companies through conversations on how our clients have leveraged our platform’s data throughout the COVID crisis, where gaps may lie in their current analytics tools, and how peer departments across industries are utilizing data to drive decisions and change.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the sessions:

Data drives action.

  • As echoed throughout the conference, legal operations professionals depend on data to drive conversation and action within their legal departments. Several attendees noted issues with the “dirty data” other systems produce. One attendee, a Director of Legal, noted that a lack of clean data has left his legal department unaware of what actions to take when it comes to spend and outside counsel relationships. As a result, his team approves all rate cards submitted by law firms without even giving it a second thought. Without context behind data and true apples-to-apples comparisons, in-house legal departments are left to play guessing games when it comes to outside counsel rates.

Let lawyers focus on lawyering.

  • The COVID crisis has led companies to evaluate every single line item in their budget with heightened scrutiny. As corporate legal departments look to contain costs, many attendees noted that managing relationships with outside counsel is critical. Throughout the conversation, attendees cited the various “key players” they bring in to handle the financial relationships with their outside counsel, including general counsels, legal operations, and procurement. This has allowed their in-house attorneys to focus on mission-critical work rather than handling law firm negotiations. Attendees have turned to data to evaluate their law firm relationships to determine the value these firms are providing for the rates that are being paid. One Legal Operations Manager shared that she has started to pry her in-house team with the following question, “If a firm cannot adhere to the outside counsel guidelines, are you prepared to break the relationship?” Another attendee, a COO, added that he recently downsized his company’s number of law firms from 300 to 30 over 18 months to optimize spend.

Sophisticated technology delivers real results.

  • As the maturity of each legal department varies, so does the sophistication of the technology they use. Other tools, such as e-billers and Tableau, can only go so far when delivering data and analyses. A Managing Director and Deputy COO shared that e-billers are limited by a lack of financial acumen which makes rate management a difficult task. Another attendee, a Head of Global Operations, noted that e-billers are only as good as the data you put into them, adding that they are “flat-files” that do not operate on sophisticated algorithms, as Bodhala does.

Bodhala’s Insights

Bodhala is reimagining the legal services market place by providing legal market intelligence, insights, and guidance to corporations to optimize their legal operations. 

From top timekeepers to average hourly rates, and everything in between, all you need to know about your outside counsel spend and law firm staffing is housed in your data. 

We arm you with the data needed to hire the right lawyer at the right law firm at the right price.

Here’s how our client’s legal operations teams have leveraged our Bodhala’s data and guidance recently:

Client A

Challenge: An insurance carrier was utilizing thousands of firms, but didn’t have a sustainable way to provide meaningful feedback on firm cost and quality on a regular cadence.

Action Taken: Bodhala instructed their corporate legal department to use Bodhala scorecards to score their most used firms, creating true apples-to-apples comparisons that could be shared with the law firms.

Client B

Challenge: A financial institution’s law firm rates were consistently increasing above inflation. The company’s legal team did not have the capacity to negotiate rates while collaborating on mission-critical work.

Action Taken: Initiated the handoff of rate card negotiations to finance and procurement, joining a number of leading companies that allow their legal departments to focus on being lawyers.

Hercules, “the god of analytics” is Bodhala’s trailblazing proprietary database that operates as a single source of truth for legal data, and provides our clients with a 360° view of the legal market.

Running on Hercules, the Bodhala platform has an intuitive dashboard that analyzes:

  • Rates
  • Observed discount percentages at relationship and practice area/work type level (anonymized)
  • Matter types
  • Factors that create peer sets, providing accurate apples-to-apples comparisons of cost and staffing

Our platform’s insights have enabled clients to initiate data-driven conversations both internally and externally. With Bodhala, corporate legal departments have the power to justify their objections, negotiations, and decisions as they relate to legal spend and law firm selection.

Bodhala’s Resources

We’re here to help you find efficiencies in your company’s legal spend – speak with a Bodhala legal expert about legal spend management tactics. Our team will provide advice on how to communicate with law firms, how to renegotiate, and what to look for in your law firms. Sign up for your complimentary consultation.

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