Thursday, January 14, 2016

Best Practices in Legal Procurement White Paper

Legal Services is a category of spend that can be baffling to even the most seasoned procurement professional.  The intangibility of buying services can make understanding requirements difficult at the best of times, but legal often seems even more complicated than other types of professional services.  In-house legal departments have a reputation of looking upon procurement departments with suspicion and law firms themselves have tended to resist procurement involvement until recently.  That being said, legal procurement is a growing industry.  More and more companies are beginning to realise that legal services account for a high proportion of spend and are questioning where efficiencies can be driven and savings made.  

For the novice legal buyer, one of the most difficult aspects of the job can often be gaining the support and sponsorship of the in-house legal team.  Lawyers are specifically trained to avoid risk and apply this training in all areas of their work.  They value quality of advice over most other metrics – after all, what is the point of saving money on the legal advice if poor quality advice leads to losing a case or a deal (with big consequences in terms of penalties or lost revenue)?  In-house legal teams have close relationships with their external legal advisers and these personal relationships can also have a big impact on their preferred choice of firm.  Lawyers work long hours and in-house teams want to know they are appointing someone that they will be able to work with from a personality perspective, even into the small hours of the night. This paper addresses how legal and procurement can work together to break through these barriers.

By Guest Blogger: Yerra Solutions