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. Continue Reading Budgets as Conversational Touchstones

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. Continue Reading Will It Be Easy to Implement and Upgrade Your ELM Solution?

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. Continue Reading The Ever-Increasing Responsibilities of Legal Operations Staff

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. Continue Reading In-House Service Providers

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 Building a Strong Spend Management Program

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. Continue Reading Findings from the 10th Annual Law Department Operations Survey

Thomson Reuters recently released the first edition of a new semiannual report focused on legal department operations. It’s called the Legal Tracker LDO Index Benchmarking & Trends Report, which puts it squarely under the company’s e-billing and matter management brand, Legal Tracker. (Tracker evolved out of Thomson’s 2010 acquisition of Serengeti and has become the most widely used e-billing platform in the world.)

Continue Reading Backstory: From Chaos to Clout

Christine Coats has made bringing new speed and efficiency to legal operations the focus of her career. After an early stint with IBM, she became Director of Legal Operations at Symantec in 2005, at a time when the function barely existed. At Symantec, she acted as the general counsel’s chief of staff and ran business operations for the COO’s office. In 2015 she was hired as Vice President of Legal Operations at an even larger software company – Oracle Corporation – where she acts as the general counsel’s right hand. She also serves as the CFO of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC). The interview has been edited for length and style.

Continue Reading The GC’s Right Hand: A legal ops trailblazer found her way when there was no trail. Now she helps others find theirs.