Outside Counsel Request for Proposal (RFP)

Argopoint solutions for outside counsel request for proposals (RFP)

Outside Counsel Request for Proposal (RFP)

Outside Counsel RFP: Overview

Increasingly, RFPs are being used as a procedure through which outside counsel can be more effectively managed and retained. This heightened vigilance, demanded in an age of tightening budgets, reflects corporate legal departments' desire to both compare the capabilities and experience of law firms in rationalized, measurable ways, as well as reduce uncertainty in projected costs and budgeting. If managed properly, outside counsel RFPs can not only optimize the outside counsel selection process, but also establish an information exchange, serving to build trust between the corporate counsel and firm elected to provide the services that best fit the corporate counsel's specific needs.

Outside Counsel Request for Proposal (RFP)

Argopoint's ability to respond to the specific needs of clients and their prospective counsels' expertise and capabilities allows us to create decision-grade RFPs for outside counsel needs. In addition to addressing cost considerations, a successful request for proposal will account for the firm's expertise, personnel, and industry-specific experience. Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of firms' services can rely on the evaluative criteria used for review, the type of legal service required - whether a niche practice or routine - previous industry experience, the characteristics of the prospective outside counsel firms, and what range of other information concerning the outside firm is needed.

Outside Counsel RFP: Solutions

In addition to enabling our clients to select the firm that best meets their specific needs and providing predictability and transparency in costs, Argopoint's outside counsel RFP processes have characteristically led to reductions in cost of 5-30% per engagement. Cost reductions are not only represented on balance sheets, but also present in productivity improvements of the in-house staff. As law firms often have few measures in place to assess performance in legal services and alignment with client needs, it is imperative for an RFP to not only address services and costs, but also give insight into an outside counsel's culture and philosophy. Argopoint can help firms make these types of judgements by drafting and editing requests, developing a methodology for scoring in line with client needs, making use of quantitative and qualitative criteria for a clear evaluative framework, coordinating and conducting rounds of interviews with client attorneys and candidate firms, and partnering with client departments on analyses for cost savings, negotiation strategies, and project timelines. Additionally, Argopoint can help firms resolve any perceived issues before outside counsel is retained. A corporation's bargaining position is the greatest during the process of selection; at this time a firm can request that the outside counsel agree to its corporate policies and procedures, or address any other unresolved matters regarding service, staffing, and costs.

Structuring an outside counsel request for proposal

Key Issues

Create clear work scope definitions: specific staffing expectations and other details of firms' proposed teams can lead to more accurate cost estimates

Identify your firm's evaluative framework: what methodologies and criteria describe your firm's selection process? How much weight is assigned to each step in your process?

How do you define value: cost analysis can be combined with previous relevant industry experience in selecting outside counsel

Consider potential conflicts: identify any firms that you would consider to pose conflicts for your target firm to work with

Identify overarching business goals: developing an initial set of priorities and preliminary cost-benefit analyses can help produce a well-guided overarching strategy and begin to define work scope