Make the Most of Your Relationship with Outside Counsel

By on December 21, 2018

Executive Summary of an article written by
By Nishad Shevde, Exterro

Earlier this year, the author’s company conducted a survey of professionals at law firms serving corporate clients. It covered a wide range of topics, including client relationship management; project management; and e-discovery services, staffing and technology.

The results show that more than half of law firms rely on attorneys to serve as project managers, meaning legal project management still has plenty of room to grow. Law firm e-discovery services have grown significantly over the last five years, with 85 percent of respondents seeing “substantial” or “slight” growth in demand from clients.

The survey results suggest that clients should ask for and expect to receive better and more collaborative e-discovery counseling from law firms. Seventy-seven percent of clients are asking for reduced rates or alternative billing arrangements. Half want proactive cost and risk mitigation strategies.

While technology-assisted review is relatively common (61 percent) at law firms, artificial intelligence is relatively rare, with 60 percent of law firms using it “rarely” or “never.” A significant minority are embracing technology to provide transparency, even if their other LPM practices are not optimized.

Some strategies suggest themselves: Define case goals and strategy clearly. If you dump documents on your law firm with little to no guidance about overall goals, it only makes sense that they’ll have to do more foundational work. Implement defensible collection and preservation. Educate law firms on your IT infrastructure. In summary, be proactive, not reactive, around e-discovery.

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