In more and more corporations, legal procurement are taking over what is traditionally viewed as a central function of corporate legal departments: the sourcing and pricing of legal services., says Melissa Maleske in her article Legal Procurement Changes Rules Of Law Firm Engagement.
“As law departments continue to focus on spending, procurement has become a key piece of the puzzle, stepping into a role that many lawyers aren’t trained in — namely, making well-informed purchasing decisions and negotiating with and managing the work performed by outside service providers.”
“The legal department typically sees its role as managing the risk and keeping companies out of trouble, and they’re not typically trained to reduce cost. It’s not necessarily part of their mindset,” says Silvia Hodges Silverstein, the executive director of the Buying Legal Council, a trade group for legal procurement professionals. “Whereas when the CEOs and CFOs look at how much companies spend on legal services, they’re thinking, ‘That is so much money.’”
Across industries, corporations focus on disciplined, informed decision-making about law firms and law firm management that stresses value and efficiency. “That’s procurement’s wheelhouse to a T, so it’s no surprise that legal procurement is becoming another new normal, rather than the novel proposition it once was.”
Read the rest of Melissa Maleske’s article in Law360.