Law firm convergence is the the dominant trend of the past two decades of outside counsel management driving improved legal effectiveness, quality of outside counsel representation, and cost -effectiveness.
Law Firm Convergence
Many corporate legal departments work with an exceptionally large number of law firms. In most cases, this growth is a function of time; firms are usually accumulated over the course of decades, and remain on the books in the absence of a rationalization project. Even during cases in which the majority of firms are used for small or specialized projects, large law firm panels can stand in the way of budget transparency. Law firms often have different rates and inconsistent billing practices. Furthermore, the business decisions that contributed to a firm’s initial selection thirty years ago may no longer be relevant.
Specifically, the general counsel may think that the proliferation of different law firms has created a lack of focus in each law firm concerning the matters of the counsel. This lack of focus may present itself as a lack of motivation to learn more about the needs of the company in detail and deliver in depth, sustainable results. An unnecessary variation in law firms can also necessitate a law firm convergence because of the exponential increases in the time and money allotment the legal department has to have in order to organize and work with various different groups. This loss in time and money, coupled with the unavailability of preferential rates due to the lack of scalable volume of each law firm creates losses for the legal department and the corporation in general.
General counsels seeking greater transparency into legal costs, consistent billing practices and metrics to assess law firm capabilities often turn to Argopoint. Our Law Firm Convergence initiatives have driven meaningful change in some of the world’s largest legal departments. The objective of a convergence project is to achieve deeper relationships with a smaller number of firms. With a smaller, more manageable panel of firms, clients are better positioned for positive collaboration with their firms. Convergence programs incentivize firms to better understand their client, and often enable clients to capitalize on volume discounts.
In Argopoint our expertise in working with Fortune 500 companies accompanied with a drive to provide the best service result in sustainable and implementable Law Firm Convergence solutions that increase efficiency for all sides. From the initial step of documenting all the related Law Firms and creating the appropriate request for proposal (RFP) we achieve excellence through our usage of most up to date methods and the most stringent QA/QC. During the RFP, the invitations are sent to only the most promising law firms and only the best proposals are chosen. And finally, even after choosing which Law firms to move forward with, we continue to provide Law Firm Convergence support by creating best practices, tracking fees and benchmarking each of the law firms continuously for sustained success. Further evaluation makes sure that the general counsel is getting the most out of the Law Firm Convergence.
Law Firm Convergence is not always the most appropriate solution (e.g., some legal departments have the inverse problem: over-reliance on a small number of firms). However, convergence has been a very popular option among general counsels of leading companies. With a smaller number of firms, legal departments are able to improve communications with their firms, and work together to ensure that high-quality service is delivered at fair-value.