In-house law departments are experiencing a significant increase in work volume and complexity at a time when their budgets are under scrutiny, a recent Law.com article reports. In fact, 98 percent of those surveyed say that the current economic conditions have required budget cuts in their legal departments.
This financial crunch is creating greater pressure on General Counsels (GCs) to show CFOs and executive boards how their legal teams can reduce, manage and forecast costs to meet financial expectations – without compromising their mandate to lessen organizational risk by accurately predicting litigation outcomes.
Like other business unit leaders, GCs today must run their departments with an eye toward the bottom line. They need a more cost-efficient way to protect the organization from unnecessary risk while aligning with stakeholders’ needs for more informed mitigation decisions.
So, GCs need access to a greater volume and better data from a broad range of sources to improve those decisions. In addition, legal leaders and other executives making financial decisions need powerful new tools that combine benchmarking with judicial analytics that offer greater insight into how potential litigation plays out.
How data leads the way for legal
“Increasing demands on in-house counsel call for creative methods of coordinating with an organization’s financial goals while enhancing the delivery of legal services,” says Mark A. Smolik, General Counsel and board member of DHL Supply Chain Americas. He has witnessed firsthand how expectations of GCs have changed over the years.
Smolik’s advice? Every in-house counsel should ask themselves: “What are you doing to convince your CEO and your CFO that you’re truly delivering value?”
This mindset requires law departments to make greater use of data, court analytics and industry benchmarking tools so they can calculate litigation risk and cost while monitoring the interaction between them. Those litigation and legal spend analytics will then allow for the analysis of outcomes based on an evaluation of the qualitative performance of law firms the organizations hire, among other factors.
“The most successful people are the ones that come in with the data, collaborate on the data, get people aligned with the data, make a decision on the data and act on it,” Smolik says.
Creating a better platform
To help, GCs need a new type of platform that combines benchmarking tools with judicial analytics that can help attorneys calculate litigation costs and the likelihood of winning as well as knowing which outside firms can best coordinate with them while keeping costs in line.
To address these issues, DXC Technology, which has extensive experience developing software for the insurance market and for monitoring claims litigation, is launching DXC Assure Legal Insights – a platform featuring data from all federal U.S. courts and almost all state and local courts. With access to this data, you can evaluate everything from the odds of whether a judge will rule in the organization’s favor, to the time a particular matter will take to resolve, to law firms’ win/loss records in a certain jurisdiction.
“Now you get the true crystal ball based on real-life data,” Smolik says.
DXC CTA: Only DXC Assure Legal Insights leverages cross-dataset analysis to combine cost benchmarking and court data in a single interface, enabling legal and claims teams to accurately analyze both matter outcomes and cost, as well as how they interact. To learn more, visit DXC Legal Solutions.
Pamela Brownstein is a freelance writer covering legal issues and the business of law.