Clients Warming Up to the Big Four.
BTI Consulting's Mad Clientist this week revealed that the attitude of clients toward using the Big 4 for legal services is undergoing a sea change. BTI says its research shows that 29.6% of top legal decision-makers are open to hiring Big 4 lawyers - a major leap forward. "This is up from less than 5% just 5 years ago," said BTI. "You can't develop a market if clients don’t want to hire you - and this big barrier to entry is coming down." BTI found four drivers behind the trend: "torrid turnover" among decision-makers; global commerce that is bringing U.S. decision-makers into contact with the Big 4; the rise of global supply chains; and streamlining legal ops. "The pandemic convinced clients' legal departments of the need to streamline and formalize work processes — and the Big 4 are aggressively stepping up to provide the consulting services to help while selling their attorneys," said BTI, ticking a number of other benefits buyers mention about the Big 4, including cross-border agility, integration of law, accounting and finance issues, large teams, and deeper industry insight. Check out the Mad Clientist blog post here
CLOC Backs SALI Alliance Standards Project. In an important development, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium has come out in favor of the SALI (Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry) Alliance, in its effort to develop legal matter standards across the industry. The goal is to map out what lawyers do and build a taxonomy to describe it, which would be a major step forward for the buyer side of the legal ecosystem. Here’s how CLOC explained its decision to back SALI: "A common language to describe legal work benefits all parties in the ecosystem by enabling faster, better data analysis to increased transparency and simplified data integration."
Click here for the story from the Artificial Lawyer
Managing the Contracting Process. Elevate has an interesting blog post this week responding to a recent study by EY and Harvard Law School about contract management practices. The EY/Harvard Law study had recommended that corporations consider establishing a separate contracting group, which would be independent of the legal, finance and procurement departments, in order to more effectively drive improvements in the contracting process. The Elevate blog post takes a contrary position and makes a good case for retaining contracting as part of the legal function.
Click here to read the full blog post by Elevate.
Halfway to Parity. According to the latest Gender Diversity Index, the companies that comprise the Russell 3000 Index are halfway to gender parity in the composition of their boards of directors. As of March 2021, 24.3% of all board seats were held by women, an increase of more than 10% in the last year alone. But according to this week's blog post from Equilar, full parity remains a long way off given the slow rate of director turnover.
Click here for a good summary of the latest Diversity Index on the Equilar blog.
With More Responsibility Comes More Stress. Whereas going in-house as a lawyer used to be considered a chance to destress and improve work/life balance, among the many changes wrought by the pandemic, corporate law departments seem to have ended up bearing more responsibility for a wider range of issues than ever before. And along with all the new responsibilities comes increased stress. If you feel weighed down by the burden of the extra stress, then make sure to read this blog post by Sterling Miller who has more than 25 years of working experience, as a general counsel and chief compliance officer: How In-House Lawyers Can Reduce Stress (In an Overly Stressful Job).