Legal Operations Improving Relationships Between Law Firms and Corporate Legal Teams

Data and broader skill sets for new lawyers are driving factors

Legal operations and data driven decision making has been at the heart of improving relationships between law firms and their corporate legal clients, said Alex Kelly, Co-Founder and COO of Brightflag at a panel discussion this week.

The panel “Innovation In The Legal Market”, hosted by Global 200 law firm Pinsent Masons, also featured Andreas Carney, Partner at Pinsent Masons, Claire Fitzpatrick, Director of Strategic Operations at ConSensys, David Halliwell, Director of Knowledge and Innovation Delivery at Pinsent Masons, and Hazel Smyth, Legal Counsel at SurveyMonkey, discussing the changing relationships between corporate legal teams and their law firms and how technology is influencing them. While technology was at the centre of the discussion, key points emerged about the changing human dynamic to legal service delivery.

Alex, previously a corporate lawyer with Matheson, pointed to the emergence of the legal operations field as a key factor in the ongoing evolution from the traditional relationship-based model of how corporate teams and law firms work together.

‘The rise of the legal operations movement, specifically CLOC, has seen a new type of person in the legal team put in place a resourcing strategy for legal work based on data’, continued Alex and suggested that corporate teams are using these reports to optimize where to outsource specific work to.

Alex said that law firms continue to play an important part in the legal ecosystem by training new lawyers. ‘There’s definitely a broader skill set emerging for today’s newly qualified lawyers’ which reflects the changing nature of how legal work is being delivered and how legal strategy is fitting into overall business strategy.

‘Both sides, law firms and corporate teams, want improved visibility’ on the matters they collaborate on, Alex added, citing customer use cases.

And because of A.I. technology, which removes a lot of manual tasks around legal bill review and e-billing, Alex added, ‘law firms are happier with faster payments’ as well as less time spent liaising with clients on administrative tasks related to invoicing and ‘the improved ability to demonstrate their value to clients’ via comprehensive resourcing reports in-house leads have access to in Brightflag.

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