One of the speakers at Mitratech’s upcoming Interact Conference,is Libby Troughton, Senior Manager, Legal IT, at The Home Depot. Since the conference doesn’t take place until May 16-19, my observations are based on Troughton’s bio in the program materials.
A “Troughton directed a multi-year, multi-million dollar project for the custom development and deployment of web-based matter management solution for the legal and compliance departments and 110+ outside counsel law firms; including interfaces to electronic billing, third party claims administrator system, litigation support and content management.” For a legal department of that size and both the scale and complexity of its software solutions, it takes a skilled person, dedicated to the projects, to implement them successfully. To spend several million dollars on such a program is not unheard of.
B. “As a result, The Home Depot legal department better collaborates and communicates with outside counsel and has been able to reduce litigation costs by 10.3%.” Since Home Depot is approximately a $70 billion company, assume its total legal spend is a half percent of that, which is $350 million. If roughly 60 percent of that went to outside counsel ($210MM) and half of that amount went to litigation ($110MM), its litigation cost savings from the new technology would be in the vicinity of $10 million a year. If all my assumptions hold up and you can measure and attribute savings to the technology, not a bad return on investment in people and software!
C. I assume that Ms. Troughton works for the legal department, not the IT department of The Home Depot. My assumption is based on her job description, the deep involvement, and the long-term commitment she must have had to be involved at this scale.
D. A final note: employees love recognition, and what better way to acknowledge hard and good work than to let them speak at an industry conference and proclaim their accomplishments.