This piece from FT confronts head-on the well-worn notion that law departments slow down business progress. Thomas Laubert, group general counsel of Daimler, the German carmaker, says the depiction of legal departments as bottlenecks holding back the rest of the business is an outdated cliché. “In-house counsel is the one that is [pushing] and has to push digital innovation,” he told FT. While it is still common for business heads to complain that a project or contract has been “stuck in legal,” many general counsel believe this notion of in-house teams always blocking progress is unfair.
Continue Reading Stuck in Legal? No Way

LexisNexis’ Kris Satkunas looks at data-driven insights into legal departments’ billing and law firm consolidation activities.

CCBJ: The LexisNexis annual CounselLink report has become a useful benchmarking tool for legal departments. Tell us a little about its history and how it’s being used.
Continue Reading Benchmarking Spurs Creative Thinking on Fees

CCBJ: Akin Gump has been recognized by the Financial Times for its work in compliance and technology. What led to that recognition?

Thomas McCarthy: Beginning over a decade ago, there was an upswing in enforcement trends by the U.S. government in areas that affected our clients – particularly export controls, sanctions and anticorruption.
Continue Reading Stepping Up Service with Customized Tech Tools for Compliance & Investigations

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 Tension in the Ecosystem: Will the practice of law ever be the same?

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 Finding the Optimal Path to Dispute Resolution

Data migration has reached a tipping point. The vast majority of technology decision-makers (84 percent) say that their organization invested in cloud services in 2016, according to Insight’s 2017 Intelligent Technology Index report. It noted that “while only 15 percent have fully migrated their corporate application workloads to public clouds, 47 percent are more than halfway implemented in the cloud, with large and medium companies leading the way.”
Continue Reading Now That Your Data’s in the Cloud, How Do You Get It Out?

Based on my research, during the past five years at least 90 different U.S. organizations published reports based on 190 surveys of U.S. law firms or law departments. That plethora of legal-industry surveys addressed a wide swath of management data. An analysis of the topics finds that compensation, e-discovery and outside counsel cost control were frequent topics, but all manner of other data inquiries were also carried out. The sponsors were primarily publishers, vendors of software or services, bar associations and consultants. At least half a dozen law firms and several trade groups also launched surveys.
Continue Reading Surveying the Surveys: There are many in the legal world, and the quality is uneven

Clifford Barr is assistant general counsel, litigation and human resources, for Marathon Petroleum Corporation. In October 2018, the company merged with Andeavor, an integrated marketing, logistics and petroleum refining company where Barr has worked for 13 years. His job there changed dramatically about two years ago, when the company hired Kim Rucker as its new general counsel. Rucker had previously been general counsel at Kraft, where there was an established legal operations group. 
Continue Reading Legal Ops 101 for Law Departments: Using key performance indicators and productivity tools to create better outcomes