For leaders of law departments seeking a ‘silver bullet’ to address the challenge to ‘do more with less,’ it pays – literally – to remember that there’s no reason to rely on a single approach to reduce legal spend. The savings from combining multiple methods can quickly surpass what any individual solution can deliver. My Elevate colleagues and I know this well, especially as nearly two-thirds of our customers use more than one Elevate solution to increase efficiency and reduce costs – often by double digits. Consider the following:
Invoice Review: Substantial savings are possible by identifying inconsistencies in law firm rates, remedying non-compliance with corporate billing guidelines, and gaining efficiency as law firms learn to submit bills that do not require revision and multiple reviews. With law firms poised to raise rates in 2023, ensuring accurate bills will take on new importance. Elevate’s Legal Invoice Review delivers, on average, hard cost savings of 6-8%. Moreover, coupled with our AI-enabled Matter Insights reports, it provides law departments with metrics that foster better strategic partnerships with their law firms.
Flexible Resourcing: The surge in staffing costs in the wake of the recent ‘salary wars’ has left law departments eager to find ways to save without sacrificing the amount or quality of the work they must complete. A flexible staffing provider with a large and deep global talent pool enables law departments to leverage legal talent from any location, for any duration, often more cost-effectively than local resources. Beyond our extensive network of global talent, Elevate also offers programs to assist General Counsel in managing headcount furloughs while continuing to provide access to those employees’ skills and institutional knowledge. Increasing numbers of customers are discovering that flexible resourcing enables innovative approaches to staffing that result in sustained savings and greater efficiency.
Legal Services: Outsourcing portfolios of business-as-usual matters often yields sizeable savings – 10% or more – in the form of greater efficiencies and lower costs without sacrificing outcomes. Our law firm, ElevateNext, combines stringent processes, AFAs for budget certainty, early case assessments, technology and AI, the right people, and an unwavering focus on avoiding preventable litigation. Our innovative handling of one customer’s business collections portfolio reduced legal spend by 50% and produced a 400% return on investment.
Supplier Management: Overpaying suppliers is a pure loss for any organisation’s budget. Understanding how much your law department spends, for what, and with whom enables a law department to prioritise savings opportunities. Combined with Elevate’s unique benchmarking process, which consolidates and analyses purchasing data across our customers, law departments typically achieve purchased expense savings of 15% to 30% and avoid paying suppliers above-market rates. Moreover, our customers pay only after realising and validating savings, thereby eliminating risk and making Elevate’s procurement solution self-funding.
Contracts: Managing contracts processes and minimising leakage present additional opportunities to reduce costs by up to 15%. A centrepiece of Elevate’s approach is developing negotiation playbooks that allow us to take low- and medium-complexity contracts into our managed services workflow and pass the higher-complexity ones back to our customer or their law firm. Customers achieve savings while accelerating cycle times and reducing contracting risk.
As law department legal and operations professionals prepare for 2023, my Elevate colleagues and I encourage you to make one of your New Year’s resolutions to maximise savings by combining multiple approaches and working with a provider that offers all of them. After all, as the saying goes, ‘if one is good, two are better.’ And when it comes to reducing costs, why stop at two?