The report highlights that the forces driving greater use of legal managed services are complex and varied and go beyond simple cost reduction. They include the need to optimize internal processes due to rising volumes of work, the importance of adopting new tech-enabled delivery models, and the increasing quality of benchmarking information on the productivity of internal and external resources.
When considering the growing use of legal managed services, it is worth noting that the Pioneers' adoption of these new delivery models has, in some cases, been a decade-long journey. Departments that choose to transform early have already realized many of the benefits new service delivery models provide. This has likely put Pioneers in a better position to handle the issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. They have already built in flexibility, agility and the capacity to handle large volumes of work through internal optimization and the use of legal managed services. Their use of technology-enabled external providers is important as these providers bring considerable expertise to the table, which is critical in times of crisis and change.
The benefits of using legal managed services
Prior to the release of the report, many of the benefits of using non-law firm legal service providers were widely recognized. The challenge for legal managed services proponents, however, was that the evidence backing these benefits was largely anecdotal. The report, which is supported by input from over 1,000 law departments, adds empirical evidence to many of anecdotal stories.
Importantly, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the data reveals that the benefits of new delivery models are not only felt in the short term but have ongoing positive impacts, including on efficiency, technology, human resources, and resilience.
This report shows that law departments that use legal managed services most widely are not only more cost-effective in service delivery today, they are more confident about improving efficiency in the future. They feel better able to attract and retain talent and are more confident in their ability to respond to geopolitical and regulatory changes.
It has long been recognized that law departments are spending a disproportionate amount of time on high-volume, routine tasks. This focus not only lowers morale and has a negative impact on recruitment and retention, it also diverts energy and resources away from the tasks that matter the most. Significantly, the report shows that using external providers gives law departments the ability to shift focus to the most important tasks.
As the report reveals, Pioneers are able to focus on the key issues that their corporations face. They report being significantly more confident in managing complex risks, including new privacy and disposition rules, investigations, and major regulatory events like IBOR and BEPS.