Making cost savings in legal services

Stakeholder Satisfaction

With the average price increase for the Legal Services category set to increase to 3.9% throughout 2019, how can procurement professionals set themselves up to still attain cost savings? We discussed this and more in our latest Procurement Leaders’ Virtual Roundtable, a teleconference chaired by PL and open to all Procurement Leaders’ members to join in and participate.


One way of shaving off costs is by outsourcing work from your general council’s team or from your law firm partner to low-cost alternatives. There’s a lot of activity in the LPO market – analysts forecast the value of the global LPO market to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 30% between 2018 and 2023 to reach $21bn in 2023.


While previously reserved for tactical legal services, a growing number of businesses are using LPO providers to support strategic legal projects to mitigate the increasing cost of legal services. Such suppliers will also allow greater access to global talent pools.


Implementing emerging technologies can be the key to long-term cost savings. Here are a few areas where emerging technologies can help to automate and augment a law professionals work:

  • document analysis;
  • contract intelligence (machine learning);
  • document delivery (bots);
  • legal adviser support (bots); and
  • case outcome prediction (AI).

Understanding the priorities of your stakeholders and taking this into account in your decision-making is key to ensuring your procurement team are as effective as possible. Procurement Leaders’ research shows the ‘experience and reputation’ and ‘performance’ were the top two factors that stakeholders consider. The legal field, like other professional services industries, is dominated by some big firms that have great reputations and price tags to match. But companies are still happy to use those services because the cost of getting something wrong and tarnishing your brand with a crisis can be much more costly.


One participant shared that when working with law firms, they believe it’s the relationship with an individual partner that is important, rather than the law firm itself. Another participant of the virtual roundtable shared that to their organisation, the brand’s cultural fit was the most important aspect, alongside the company’s knowledge of their brand. Understanding your organisation’s particular challenges, products or constraints is key to working with your supplier in an agile manner.

What next?

  1. Define a realistic set of savings targets and explore new low-cost options for applicable areas of legal services.
  2. Explore suppliers that can offer new digital solutions to boost productivity and shave down costs.
  3. Be mindful of changing stakeholder expectations and create processes that allow you to pivot and collaborate.

This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.

Ciara Whiteman
Posted by Ciara Whiteman

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