The Legal Intelligencer wrote a post on the interplay between procurement and legal departments. The GCs Gina Passarella quoted in her article were rather dismissive of the idea. They didn’t think procurement should get involved with sourcing legal services.
I believe, however, that more and more, GCs are not even asked “whether” they want to work with procurement, they just have to, as it is a top management mandate. The equation paying less = lower quality simply doesn’t hold true in a world where more and more law firms embrace legal project management and process improvement.
While legal procurement often starts with sourcing legal commodities, examples like GSK show that procurement can support the legal department source complex legal services as well. At GSK, any matter OVER 250K has to go through their online reverse auction. It is not procurement’s job to pick the suppliers; it is procurement’s job to improve the process of sourcing and make better/more objective choices for the company on a total cost basis, not on the lowest price.
Read Gina’s article in which she wrote up our discussion in The Legal Intelligencer.