insight into your legal operations
how busylamp clients use legal data to drive decision making
use case: reporting bau legal spend to the business
The in-house team was under pressure from the business to accurately forecast external legal spend but this is only possible when anomalies are taken out, as matters such as litigation and M&A vary hugely, are unpredictable, and the business will always pay for this type of work, regardless of budget and where spend is with regards to budget. The legal department therefore agreed with the business that forecasting will be delivered on business as usual spend only.
They use BusyLamp to calculate their business as usual spend on a monthly and annual basis. With BusyLamp reporting this is easy as litigation and M&A are data categories that can be excluded when creating a report. This report was saved and sent to stakeholders at regular intervals, but also enables business as usual spend to be tracked on a daily basis. This data is further analysed to understand what this spend looks like by jurisdiction, matter type, internal client etc. so that they can provide more detailed forecasting.
Our client has dramatically improved the accuracy of their forecasting, and the business is happy with the level of detail that they now provide.
use case: making a business case for more headcount
A very under-resourced internal legal team were often outsourcing matters because they were unable to meet deadlines internally. They used BusyLamp reporting to understand their spend by matter type over the course of the year, assessing what they spend on each practice area and the PQE of the external lawyer doing the work.
They were able to spot that a lot of general commercial work was being outsourced, purely because of the capacity of their own team. They quickly understood how much they were spending on these matters in total so evaluated what the cost would be if they were able to work on these matters internally instead.
Legal Operations created a business case to grow the team by 2 additional heads. This was approved and they successfully added 2 general commercial lawyers to the team, which in turn reduced the volume of work being outsourced to their law firms. This resulted in a substantial reduction in their total legal spend.
use case: deciding which firms to outsource work to
Having used BusyLamp for some time, this in-house team decided that they wanted to collate qualitative data as well as the quantitative data already held in the system. They decided to use BusyLamp surveys to measure the quality of the work being completed by firms. They looked at the seniority of the external lawyer, the score given by the in-house lawyer assessing the work, and the type of matter being worked on.
They identified that one of their law firms had scored an average of 9/10 for IP work, with a Partner doing the work at a premium rate. Another one of their law firms had scored an average of 8/10 for IP work, with an Associate doing the work.
They considered that 8/10 was still of a sufficiently good quality but at a much lower rate than the partner at the other firm, so they started to allocate more IP work to the Associate. The most important and critical IP work would still go to the Partner at the other firm.
Overall this resulted in a significant saving in costs for IP matters without compromising on quality or value for money.
use case: reaching volume discount milestones
Customer had negotiated volume discounts with the law firms, but had no way of tracking when the spend milestones had been reached. After implementing BusyLamp, a number of reports were scheduled for automatic delivery periodically, one such report was tracking spend by law firm.
Today, legal operations know the exact spend for each law firm and when approaching a rebate or discount milestone communicate it to the in-house team who then allocate as much work is reasonable and appropriate to these firms to hit the milestone and activate the discount, making a significant impact on reducing their external spend annually.
use case: getting visibility of spend by activity type
Due to using “spend by activity type” reporting in BusyLamp this in-house legal team realised they were spending a lot of money with their law firms on internal communications. This was the case for many matter types that they would not expect internal communications to be associated with.
They contacted their law firms and requested that the correct lawyer was allocated to their matters in the first instance to reduce the internal communications, but also informed the law firm that they would no longer pay for internal communications. Their law firms agreed.
Internal communications were then added to their billing guidelines so that any line items relating to this activity type would be flagged for review. This has helped our client to reduce their spend, and in addition has reduced the amount of time that their law firm partners spend completing their matters.