“A firm’s client strategy should be under constant review in order to ensure that the emerging needs of the client and the firm’s competitive capabilities remain aligned.”
Andrew Hedley, a widely respected thought-leader, advisor on legal strategy and author recently published a book, Client Strategy in a Changing Legal Market which “provides a route map for the [law firm] leadership team, enabling them to navigate these choppy economic waters and arrive at strategies which are both well founded and resilient.”
Hedley aptly notes the importance of legal outsourcing, onshoring and legal service disaggregation as key emerging areas of client strategy.
We’ve seen from our leading global law firm clients that these decisions have far-reaching strategic implications and should be made with careful consideration (avoiding a reactive, ad hoc approach to work with outside vendors).
Increasingly, firms find themselves asking:
What exactly is the difference in legal ‘process’ outsourcing vs. how we deliver services internally? How does LPO impact our firm? How could/should we integrate LPO capabilities into our practice? Should we pursue a captive vs. traditional third-party vendor model? Or create a hybrid between the two? Finally, how do we manage the risk of these new engagements and offer these services to our clients?
Hedley kindly offered me the opportunity to contribute to the “Expert Commentary” section. I explored the direct strategic implications for legal outsourcing and outside legal service providers.
During my ”expert” commentary I outline the four drivers of the LPO movement:
- Cost savings and efficiencies;
- Capacity management;
- Access to talent and expertise; and
- Strategic and client-driven initiatives.
“The emergence of legal outsourcing as a strategic priority is driven by a number of factors including the client-facing aspect of LPO for law firms, the continuing expansive adoption by law firms and corporates alike and, finally, the innovation spurred by LPOs as they join process and technology into the delivery of legal services. Despite the growing knowledge base for LPO, many senior leaders find themselves coming back to core questions of what exactly is LPO, how can we use it and what are the implications for our firm?”
After outlining the ‘what’s’, ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ of LPO, I illustrate the concepts with several real case studies. Two organizations featured are Pinsent Masons (including commentary from Nigel Kissack, head of their disputes team) and ISS (with remarks from Richard Reade UK general counsel.)
Throughout the book, Hedley does a great job of combining both theoretical insights and real case studies with firms such as CMS Cameron McKenna, Carillion and Epoq.
Client Strategy in a Changing Legal Market also highlights a number of client strategic areas such as:
- The frameworks of strategy and client strategy;
- The forces of growing change in the legal profession;
- Client segmentation and selection; and
- The combination of all data points to create a compelling client strategy.
Having just picked up the book last week, I have yet to finish it cover-to-cover, but everything I’ve read so far has been quite insightful and well-written.
After authoring a similar publication on legal outsourcing myself, I certainly appreciate the thought and effort that went into Hedley’s publication. I would highly recommend reading the book to ensure your client strategy does not stagnate in a “changing legal market.”
More details on Client Strategy in a Changing Legal Market, you can find the table of contents available here.