Using Legal Data to Drive Decision-Making 

Strategic decision-making is crucial to the long-term success of any organization. But do you have the right solution that enables you to make more informed decisions? With BusyLamp, your Legal team can track and analyze legal spend, identify areas for cost savings and make informed decisions about the allocation of legal resources. By providing real-time cost transparency and customizable dashboards, Onit’s European legal spend management solution BusyLamp eBilling.Space helps to make data-driven decisions that drive business success.

Want to hear about BusyLamp in action? Here are five real-world, game-changing use cases that show the difference BusyLamp can make.

This in-house team was under pressure from the business to accurately forecast external legal spend. However, this is only possible after removing anomalies, as matters such as litigation and M&A are unpredictable. The business will always pay for this type of work, regardless of budget and where spend is regarding budget. The legal department, therefore, agreed with the business that they would deliver forecasting on business-as-usual spend only.

The team deployed BusyLamp to calculate their business-as-usual spend on a monthly and annual basis. This is easy with BusyLamp reporting, as they can exclude litigation and M&A data categories when creating a report. This report gets sent to stakeholders regularly and enables daily tracking of business-as-usual spend. This data is further analyzed to understand what this spend looks like by jurisdiction, matter type, internal client, and more so that they can provide more detailed forecasting.

Our client has dramatically improved their forecasting accuracy, and the business is happy with the level of detail they now provide.

Making a Business Case for More Headcount

A very under-resourced internal legal team often outsourced matters because they could not meet internal deadlines. They used BusyLamp reporting to understand their spend by matter type over a year, assessing what they spend on each practice area and the PQE of the external lawyer doing the work.

They could spot that a lot of general commercial work was being outsourced purely because of the capacity of their team. They quickly understood how much they were spending on these matters in total, so they evaluated what the cost would be if they could work on these matters internally instead.

Legal Operations created a business case to grow the team by two additional personnel. After approval, they successfully added two general commercial lawyers to the team, reducing the volume of work outsourced to their law firms. This resulted in a substantial reduction in their total legal spend.

Deciding Which Firms to Outsource Work

After using BusyLamp for some time, this in-house team decided they wanted to collate qualitative data and the quantitative data already held in the system. They chose to use BusyLamp surveys to measure the quality of the work completed by firms. The team looked at the seniority of the external lawyer, the score given by the in-house lawyer assessing the work, and the types of matters.

They identified that one of their law firms had scored an average of 9/10 for IP work, with a partner doing the work at a premium rate. Another one of their law firms had scored an average of 8/10 for IP work, with an associate doing the work.

They considered that 8/10 was still of sufficiently good quality but at a much lower rate than the partner at the other firm. The team allocated more IP work to the Associate, with the most critical IP work still going to the other firm’s partner. This resulted in a significant saving in costs for IP matters without compromising on quality or value for money.

Reaching Volume Discount Milestones

In this case, a customer had negotiated volume discounts with the law firms; however, they had no way of tracking when firms reached the spend milestones. After implementing BusyLamp, the company scheduled several reports for periodic automatic delivery, including monitoring spend by firm.

Today, legal operations know the exact spend for each law firm. When the firm approaches a rebate or discount milestone, the in-house team allocates as much work as is reasonable and appropriate to these firms to hit the milestone and activate the discount. This significantly reduces annual external spend.

Getting Visibility of Spend by Activity Type

By using “spend by activity type” reporting in BusyLamp, this in-house legal team realized they were spending a lot of money on “internal communications” with their law firms. This spend included many matter types that did not usually require this amount of internal communication allocation.

The team contacted their law firms and requested that the correct lawyer be allocated to their matters in the first instance to reduce internal communications. They also informed the law firms that the organization would no longer pay for internal communications. Their law firms agreed to the terms.

Internal communications were then added to their billing guidelines so that any line items relating to this activity type would get flagged for review. The change helped our client to reduce their spend and the amount of time their law firm partners spend completing their matters.

How BusyLamp Helps

With BusyLamp, Legal departments can:

  • See their legal matters and spend from the entire business in one place.
  • Understand where legal budget is being spent; what types of matters, in what jurisdictions, with which firms
  • Stop wasting time compiling spreadsheets – reports can be built in an easy-to-use report wizard.
  • Save even more time by automating delivery of reports that are needed frequently.
  • Create reports on any field within the system to understand your matters and make data-driven strategic decisions, whether that be to reduce legal spend, manage legal risk, or evaluate law firm performance.

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