CASE STUDIES

GLOBAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

SAMPLE OF MATTER TYPES: Compliance, Litigation, Contracts, Corporate, Employment, Environmental, Asbestos, General Liability, Patent/Trademark, Surety, Construction Defects, Coverage

LENGTH OF TIME IN PROGRAM: 9 years to date

NATURE OF ASSIGNMENT: Analyzed emerging legal invoices (fee and expense entries) from law firms to determine if they were billed in accordance with client guidelines, accepted industry practices or benchmarks; were being performed at the appropriate staff level; and were reasonable in relation to the type of work being performed.  In addition, LCC attorneys determined, analyzed and reported any anomalies, irregularities, and other observations as appropriate. LCC prepared and submitted Invoice Reports in support of its findings and recommendations, and participated in discussions with the client regarding those findings and recommendations.  As a result, the law firms agreed to substantial reductions from its billings.

This client utilizes LCC’s case/matter management module to interface with outside firm’s regarding individual matters.  Law Firms and client access documents, access case information, communicate, schedule, budget and collaborate on hourly rate management.  In addition, the linking of case data with actual legal costs provides powerful decision making metrics.

OUTCOMES: Year one program savings 8.4%, Year 9 program savings 5.2%.  Total legal fees = $171.8 Million.  In the interim the Client moved some firms to flat fees which LCC has been asked to assess using the time detail backup, thereby allowing recommendations on modifications to flat fee per quarter

CHALLENGES:  As mentioned above, this client utilizes LCC’s case and matter management system.  This system was initially managed by the client and it relied on both its employees and outside firms to populate data and documents, as required, into the system.  The client found that both its employees and the outside firms were not uploading and maintaining critical case data.   Client hired one of LCC professionals to manage the case management system (i.e. to track down data and documents and ensure all stakeholders provide critical data).  The LCC professional ensures that the case management data/documents in the system is/are timely, accurate and complete.  LCC interfaces with the clients’ professional staff, and the clients’ law firms, to secure documents, budgets, case status, hourly rate charts, case data, research briefs, etc.  This process is unique because LCC ensures the case management data is accurate, timely and reliable.

LCC’s system is designed to assure that law firm billing behavior is modified over time to be in compliance with best practices.  Most firms do over time conform.  As a result, the cost of the line by line review, for some firms, results in a less favorable ROI because of voluntary guideline compliance. LCC designed the “Sentinel” system whereby compliant firms are “passed thru” at a fraction of the cost but are subject to an automated review (not ‘eyes-on” but a limited automated review of rates, timekeepers and some discrete disbursements).  At any time, recidivist firms can be subject to the “eyes-on” review if warranted.  The added advantage, besides cost savings, is the firms belief the full review is ongoing, hence the “Sentinel” effect.

This construction company has a business structure that relies on Business Units (“BU”) to manage its own jurisdictional geography semi-independent of central corporate oversight.  However, because the BU’s handle the initial legal assignment to the outside firms, and because they need to be tangentially involved in the legal fee process, there was a need to bring the BU’s into the process.  LCC designed a custom notification and data collection process to allow the BU’s to be notified and directed to access and input critical data at the appropriate time, automating the process.

This company operates in multiple jurisdictions throughout the North America.  Because of the many jurisdictions that may be served, they hired an outside service, CT Corp., to ensure all legal filings were submitted to the company timely.  LCC developed an automated process allowing the filings to be directly, and accurately, transferred into the matter management system.

PRICING CHALLENGES:  This client charges its law firms a “processing fee” that exceeds LCC’s fee to the client; see, the “Pricing Challenges” note below.