For ContractWorks co-founder Albert Oaten, AI is not an abstract future; it is the concrete means to help law departments save money, save time and mitigate risk – right now.
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Nathan Cemenska, director of legal operations and industry insights at Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions, says that complex billing guidelines coupled with the mounting workloads of in-house professionals erodes the effectiveness of e-billing solutions. Here, he provides some useful advice on maximizing e-billing ROI without dumping more work on law departments already slammed with too much to do. 
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The annual FT Innovative Lawyers competition is the brainchild of Reena SenGupta of RSG Consulting. In 2005, the London-based journalist hit on the idea of ranking law firms based on their innovations and partnering with FT on spreading the word.
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Perkins Coie’s Toby Brown discusses the importance of trust and communication in maintaining positive relationships between in-house and outside counsel. 

Tell us about your role as Chief Practice Management Officer at Perkins Coie.

Toby Brown: My role really started with – and expanded around – pricing and profitability. As that area became more advanced, it highlighted other needs and demands like legal project management (LPM). I still oversee pricing now, in the sense that pricing is how we win work, and legal project management is how we manage that work in regard to client success and profitability. About a year and a half ago, I also took on the role of overseeing our lateral partner acquisition. It might seem like that’s unrelated to my role as Chief Practice Management Officer, but actually it requires the same type of assessments we make with pricing and practice management.

With the growth of the in-house legal operations community, we hear many references to legal project management. What does LPM look like from the perspective of a law firm? What should our in-house readers know about how law firms are approaching it?

Project management is a function – I liken it to standing in
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Barnes & Thornburg’s Jared Applegate discusses challenges and ideas for gathering and using data.

CCBJ: Both law firms and in-house law departments look to gain pricing certainty from a better understanding of data related to matters. What type of data should be focused upon?

Jared Applegate: From an in-house law department perspective and, frankly, from a law firm perspective, I think you always want to start with the end in mind. Ask these questions: At the end of the day, what business decisions will be driven by the capture and analysis of the data? Will that ultimately provide greater value/insights to my business unit leaders?  
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Bjarne P. Tellmann, CLO and GC of Pearson, recently dished up a bit of advice for law departments facing continuing resource restraints
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