General counsel devote a substantial amount of their time to evaluating risk, especially when it comes to litigation. They think about it … evaluate it and find cost-effective ways to respond to it. A recent Law.com article reports that 40% of GCs oversee corporate risk as a primary component of their job.
One of the best ways to manage and mitigate risk, particularly litigation risk, is through data and technology. But many current tools lack the necessary components to assist in-house counsel with this critical part of their job. While some platforms offer benchmarking data, they lack the analytics tools to give GCs the complete picture of litigation risk and costs.
I reached out to Mark A. Smolik, General Counsel of DHL Supply Chain Americas, for his insight into how progressive GCs manage and mitigate litigation risk. “It is a growing concern,” Smolik says. Smolik adds: “Traditional ways of thinking by merely relying on external counsel to evaluate risk associated with litigation is changing. Progressive GCs and their teams are evaluating new and creative ways to leverage data and technology to help access litigation costs and risks. But that creativity is somewhat muted by the limits in currently available technology platforms.”
Managing risk and costs, in turn, requires a powerful tool that allows in-house legal leaders to assess litigation outcomes, court rulings, legal fees and costs in one easy-to-use application.
“What is needed”, Smolik says, “is a single, easy-to-navigate platform which provides insight to litigation outcomes, judicial analytics and legal spend benchmarking data enabling counsel to effectively evaluate litigation risk, related costs and outcomes,” Smolik notes.
“More and more GCs are seeking ways to leverage actual data and facts to help efficiently and effectively identify costs and outcomes associated with their litigation,” Smolik adds.
Modeling outcomes using data
DXC Technology, a company with extensive experience harnessing data to help the insurance industry better manage its claims and related costs, is filling that need. DXC Assure Legal Insights provides access to litigation outcomes, judicial analytics and legal spend benchmarking in the first-of-its-kind database available only through DXC.
DXC Assure Legal Insight’s judicial analytics includes data from U.S. federal courts and most state and local courts. Law departments can learn how a particular judge has ruled on similar matters, how various attorneys have fared before a particular judge and how long a matter was pending before resolution. It’s not predictive; it’s actual empirical data helping GCs evaluate case outcomes.
In addition, DXC Assure Legal Insights combines analytics with a legal spend benchmarking tool that compares timekeeper rates by title, industry, jurisdiction and task code. This allows GCs to critically gauge costs, make the best of resources, identify areas for improvement, and reach important budgetary and legal decisions.
Legal leaders can model different outcomes and costs based on jurisdictions, chosen counsel and other factors.
DXC Assure Legal Insights features a drop-down interface with automatically populated fields that take users to the heart of the relevant information. The interface includes heat maps and features to aid in understanding the data. With GCs typically working alongside CFOs, the platform allows legal and finance to constantly monitor the bottom line.
Making better decision
Through the interface, guesswork gives way to predictability. As a result, finance and legal teams now have real, credible objective data on which to evaluate their claims and litigation
The interface addresses a significant need for GCs: Enabling them to prove objectively they are delivering value.
“This type of platform will be invaluable to the legal industry. Data is the “new gold” and DXC just might have figured out how to mine it and deliver to users a first of its kind way to better manage litigation risk”, Smolik says.
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.