Mature corporate law departments use e-billing technology to manage outside counsel spend without sacrificing results. According to ELM Solutions’ director of legal operations and industry insights, Nathan Cemenska, however, e-billing can’t do everything. In a previous post to In-House Ops, he discussed other solutions that help meet these challenges. Here, he talks about what form that help can take.
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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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Transparency and collaboration are obvious keys to strong and smooth relationships between inside and outside counsel. Less obvious is the role budgets can play in facilitating such relationships. Here, Jared Applegate of Barnes & Thornburg and Justin Ergler of GlaxoSmithKline share best practices on using budgets as a conversational tool to build better relationships.
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Legal departments should consider service and methodologies, as well as the technology itself.

When corporate legal departments consider their options for enterprise legal management (ELM) systems and providers, it’s easy to focus on dazzling product demos. However, an ELM technology provider is more than just a software manufacturer.
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When I got back from CLOC last month, I was amazed at the various roles and responsibilities shouldered by legal operations staff. Still one of the fastest growing roles in legal departments, the responsibilities often assigned to these teams are varied and all over the map in terms of impact on the business, not just the legal department.
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The following lists are drawn from CLOC’s State of the Industry Survey. As the numbers show, almost 85% of corporate law departments have adopted an e-billing system, while only half have automated contract management. Most are not yet using an alternative or managed service provider.
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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.
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For 10 years now, the Blickstein Group, in cooperation with Consilio, has been surveying Legal Ops and other law department professionals, focusing solely on the operations function and seeks to provide benchmarks that are useful to the largest law departments. They have just completed the 2017 survey, sponsored by QuisLex, Exterro, Onit, Wolters Kluwer, Legal Decoder, iManage and HighQ, and the results are fascinating as always.
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