Bruce Macmillan, in-house counsel at Dell EMEA, is cited in a report on hourly billing, by Commerce & Industry (C&I) and BDO Stoy Hayward. At Dell, “procurement function processes have affected legal purchasing for years.” The point for this blog is that “Procurement team involvement is now mandatory on higher spend relationships, with only a few limited exceptions” (See my posts of July 29, 2007 on software for a procurement process; and May 9, 2007 with nine references cited about procurement.).
According to Macmillan, “Legal still negotiates and agrees its budget with the finance function and the business management, but the procurement department is there to help to ensure that the suppliers with whom the legal team spend represent a reasonable use of the company’s resources.” That bland statement leaves me with many questions as to how procurement carries out that assessment (See my post of May 9, 2007 on procurement barging in on law departments.).
He also makes the point that law firms used by Dell “have to justify their practices not only in comparison to rivals, but also a range of other consulting service providers, such as accountants, as these form part of procurement’s benchmarking data.” Shiver.