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Top Ways To Measure Outside Counsel’s Performance

by PracticeLeague

Legal departments make use of outside counsels to manage matters but this system is only profitable to the department if the outside counsel is effective in their workings and meets all the parameters set by the department.

Most legal departments are still unsure about how to appropriately measure their performance, as it is an imperative factor in the smooth running of the legal department. Having specific criteria or standards that gauge outside counsel’s management can greatly help in maintaining a standard of performance through out your outside counsel and determining who is the best fit for you.

Sticking to the budget

Legal departments usually work on tight budgets and hence, it is important to make sure you’re have a database of all your empaneled counsels along with their practice areas, regional presence and most importantly their rates. It allows you to compare the rates of multiple firms on their strengths and rates, while also looking at their past performance.

Once engaged, it’s important to track your spending and validate counsel invoices against the agreed rates. With a real-time look into your budget and spending, you can take better decisions and ensure you don’t exceed your budget.

Tracking Performance

This is an obvious fact to consider but also an important one. The longer the matter remains open, the higher its cost is going to be (most times). Hence, it’s important to ensure that there are no delays in taking action and you have a workflow defined to trigger reminders for effective TAT and escalations for overdue items. Outside counsel’s ability to close a matter in a stipulated time frame can greatly help you determine their success.

Compare total costs

On completion of a matter, another great way to find out the performance of outside counsel is to compare it to other attorneys that handled matters of similar nature. While each matter is unique, you can still compare certain costs against each other.

How are you paying your outside counsel?

How you are invoiced for matter worked and how that rate compares to other attorneys who work on similar types of matters is important. For instance, you pay hourly so it is good to compare the price of other lawyers per hour as well. Take into account experience and ensure that you are getting more value for your money.

Legal departments and outside counsel go hand in hand, and to make this partnership more effective, there are even software that can help. A Case Management Software is a great way to go.

PracticeLeague offers a robust and scalable platform that works as a Matter Management Software, Legal Spend Management Software and Compliance and Risk Management Software all in one, while giving you more freedom to look over and enhance the processes in your department.

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