Late last year, CLOC, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, released the results of its first annual State of the Industry Survey, looking at such metrics as legal spend; legal department and legal ops headcounts; commonly used e-billing vendors, contract management systems and alternative service providers; and law firm evaluation priorities.

The respondents represented 156 companies in 32 industries, spanning 30 U.S. states and 11 countries. With a median company revenue of $7 billion, they claimed an average external spend of $60 million per company. Continue Reading

Gage Johnson is senior VP, general counsel and secretary of Paramount Group Inc., a New York City-based public REIT. His remarks have been edited for length and style.

CCBJ: How did you become a lawyer?

Gage Johnson: When I was a kid, there was a TV show called “Perry Mason,” a lawyer who helped people out of jams. Mason also always won and was fun to watch. My dad, a lawyer in Bowling Green, Kentucky, looked like Perry Mason. He became a judge, so it was natural for me to become a lawyer. Continue Reading

Litigation based on this tort has grown exponentially – and needs to be governed by clear and reasonable standards.

Before the industrial revolution, the tort of public nuisance was easily understood and reasonably applied. Over the past few decades, new technologies and manufacturing processes evolved. The new processes entailed new techniques, substances, waste disposal methods and habits. Public nuisance litigation adapted to deal with these issues and ultimately evolved to encompass the new problems. Plantiffs’ counsel are now using the tort far beyond its traditional limits and expectations – often involving large cities, regions, coastal areas and water supplies. Continue Reading

An annotated review of Information Governance Insights columns from 2017

The scope of corporate counsel duties has changed rather rapidly and drastically in the past decade. As companies have quickly begun to digitalize nearly every aspect of their operations, digital information has become the lifeblood and primary asset of nearly all business, in every industry, in every sector. Whether a company makes or sells widgets, transports goods or people, facilitates markets or financial transactions, or provides services of any sort, in the past few years it has also become an information business. The volume of digital information flowing through companies has also grown exponentially in this same short period. Continue Reading

There is an undisputable tension in the legal ecosystem. How do you explain it? Is it a natural tension that flares up every other decade? Is this the last industry to finally embrace technology? Is it a perfectly normal cycle that occurs from a macroeconomic perspective when innovation forces change? Or a combination of them all? There is obvious change evident in the pace of legal technology advancements, but that is only one part of the broader ecosystem. Here’s where that evolution is happening. Continue Reading

Recently, the topic of culture has rocketed up the corporate agenda. Look no further than our interview with Nick Donofrio and Helene Gayle, who recently led a Blue Ribbon Commission on culture for the National Association of Corporate Directors. Why take a hard look now at a “soft” topic such as culture? Check the headlines, says Donofrio, a member of the NACD board. Continue Reading

Outside counsel guidelines have become increasingly complex, requiring companies to pay special attention to both details and trends in billing. Our editors sat down with Linda Hovanec and Matt Kivlin of Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions, to talk about building a strong spend management program and how artificial intelligence can help identify irregularities and errors in billing, and therefore increase efficiencies within legal spend management. Their remarks have been edited for length and style. Continue Reading

Thanks to ongoing technological improvements to enterprise legal management software, in-house operations are more efficient than ever. Dan Ruderman of LexisNexis CounselLink has worked in this space for decades and has seen the ways the broad implementation of legal spend management systems have helped attorneys become more focused – and helped law departments bring down their overall costs. His remarks have been edited for length and style. Continue Reading

Managers of law departments (and of law firms) often believe that there is an identifiable connection between one set of numbers and another. Perhaps they sense that the size of the plaintiff’s law firm has some bearing on the cost of defending a lawsuit; they feel the number of patents applied for rises and falls with their company’s R&D investment; or they’ve noticed that client satisfaction scores relate to keeping close to budget. Fortunately, those types of subjective impressions of managers can be tested and quantified.  Continue Reading

Jeffrey Martin and Paul Mastrocola are co-chairs of the business litigation and dispute resolution group at Burns & Levinson. Both are seasoned trial attorneys who know that litigation is sometimes the only option – but certainly not in every case. They often advocate meditation, arbitration or other forms of alternative dispute resolution, always with the goal of efficient and cost-effective outcomes that satisfy all parties involved. The interview has been edited for length and style. Continue Reading