An analytic framework for law departments. Abstractly, we can frame all law department activities as information flows (See my post of April 27, 2006 on the science of services.), information processes (See my posts of April 27, 2006 on processes, and information systems (See my post of Aug. 28, 2005 on the McKinsey 7S model.). That bloodless formulation appears to leave out the most important component – people, but they are actually the key part of the system.
Fixed fees for litigation work. American Greetings Corp.’s legal department has since 2002 used a firm for litigation work on a flat-fee arrangement. As described in InsideCounsel, May 2006 at 70, the arrangement gives certainty to budgeting, alignment of interest, and reduced costs (See my post of April 5, 2006 on fixed fees and flat fees.).
Balanced Score Card system to evaluate outside counsel. In Global Counsel, Sept. 2003 at 23, Ulrich Niessen, AXA Konzern’s general counsel, explains his department’s system for assessing external counsel (See my post of May 17, 2006 on BP’s 30 attributes.). He mentions timeliness, the final bill being in line with the budget, creativity, pragmatism, client feedback, and business understanding. “The most important thing is to have clear straightforward advice that is, of course, correct.”
Huge spends for workers compensation. In its 2005 review of the Office of the City Attorney of Los Angeles, California’s Bureau of State Audits found that the city spent on workers comp over the past six fiscal years $20.4 million (at 13) (See my post of April 23, 2006 on workers comp metrics.).