28 February 2017

Legal departments increasingly leveraging data and technology


A new survey released today survey released today from Bloomberg Law and the Buying Legal Council reveals that the top priority of corporate procurement professionals charged with managing legal spending is reducing the number of law firms utilised by their organisations.

The findings confirm the accelerating shift away from relationship buying and selling in the legal industry to decision making driven by data and technology. The 2017 Legal Procurement Survey also suggests that procurement professionals are having substantial success in reducing their employers’ legal spending, with respondents claiming responsibility for an 11 percent reduction in legal spending on average, a number that increased to 23 percent for those who self-identified as being highly successful. The full report can be accessed at https://www.buyinglegal.com/survey.

“The 2017 Legal Procurement Survey underscores the increasing acceptance and effectiveness of procurement professionals in managing legal purchasing,” said Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein, Executive Director of The Buying Legal Council. “It is a revolution based on discipline, process controls, and analytics advocacy.”

The survey also uncovered a strong need for business intelligence technologies. More than 70 percent of all survey respondents regularly engage in at least two activities that rely on business intelligence—pre-purchase evaluation of legal services providers and providing decision-grade data to the legal department. Additionally, those procurement professionals who identified themselves as being most successful spend most of their time issuing RFPs and evaluating RFP responses.

The survey points to multiple indicators that procurement professionals will be directing their work to fewer firms in 2017 and beyond. Respondents identified their top job priority over the next 12 months as consolidating their preferred provider list. Hodges Silverstein says this consolidation is driven by purchasing economies from using fewer suppliers.

“The survey results confirm the accelerating trends relating to heightened competition in the legal market,” said Scott Mozarsky, President of Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg BNA’s Legal Division. “In a market that is dealing with disruptive factors ranging from new technology to increased global consolidation among service providers, in-house legal departments and outside law firms are looking for ways to become more efficient and effective, including putting in place systems that deliver superior business intelligence and create efficiencies in their everyday work.”

“The increased use of procurement initiatives by businesses when considering their legal services needs is both a fact of life for the legal industry and indicative of smart corporate management, appropriately focusing on quality of service and cost management,” said Morrison Cohen LLP Chairman David Scherl. “From the law firm’s perspective, it should be embraced as a way to communicate your law firm model, including its service offerings and value proposition. Ultimately, it provides those shops that can take advantage of the process an opportunity to differentiate between their firm and their competitors.”

Survey respondents covered a wide range of industries, with more than half concentrated in the regulated areas of banking/financial services/insurance; chemicals/pharmaceuticals/biotech; and energy/utilities. A majority of survey respondents worked for companies with more than $25 billion in annual revenue, while 16 percent worked at companies with less than $1.7 billion in annual revenue.

Be part of the legal procurement community in the Asia-Pacific region by joining the Buying Legal Council APAC interactive webinar with Marty Harlow, Procurement Director of Global Legal Services at GSK on 22 March 2017, 1PM AEDT. Find out more here.

Read the original media release at PR Newswire.

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