Law Department Leaders Rein-In Litigation Costs with Six Metrics that Matter

For the first time, law departments are spending more on in-house legal resources than outside counsel. A recent report from the Association of Corporate Counsel and the recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa reported that organizations from the US, UK and over 20 countries reported that 54% of legal spending stayed in-house last year, up from 49% in 2020. 

As corporate law departments bring more work in-house, a big area of focus is litigation, particularly reducing eDiscovery and data-related costs. However, taking bringing more work in-house isn’t enough to achieve the aim of cost savings alone.  

According to recent guidance from UnitedLex, to drive better business outcomes and lower costs by 30-50%, law departments should use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) throughout the litigation and investigation lifecycles. Several areas of opportunity include:  

  • Preservation Compliance
    Law departments ahead of the curve view preservation holistically: not just as a time to issue legal hold notices and collect data, but also as an opportunity to evaluate whether collections are over or under-inclusive over time. Armed with this knowledge, legal teams can more effectively tailor future preservation and collection needs, which reduces excess noise from the start and lowers the document volumes before they reach discovery.
  • Workforce Optimization
    To maximize resource efficiencies, forward thinking law departments apply the right resources to the right tasks at the right times. This often means using a “follow the sun” model, providing 24-hour litigation support and leveraging resources different locations during different parts of the business day to move a matter forward. 
  • Data Relevancy and Re-Use
    Strategic law departments view their data as a unified corpus that can enable better data reuse and knowledge management across cases. On each new matter, case teams should ask: were these documents previously reviewed by in-house or outside counsel? Were they produced or marked as privileged? Tracking document-level history across matters makes each document more valuable and helps teams avoid reinventing the wheel.  

As law departments further optimize resources and grasp the power of their data, they move beyond the anecdotal and begin to extract actionable business insights that can reduce the risk of future litigation. This transforms legal from being viewed as a cost-center into a true business partner.  

Are you curious about how to measure KPIs to reduce costs and drive better efficiency through  data? Download UnitedLex’s detailed whitepaper about Optimizing Litigation Management through 6 KPIs. 

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