Legal Strategy Rev. of CPA Global published an interview of Helen Gillcrist, Vice President and Manager of Enterprise Legal Services at Liberty Mutual. According to the June 27th piece, Gillcrest manages the insurance company’s relationships with several thousand law firms. Pay attention to four thrusts mentioned in the article.
Her team includes an “analytical group, including statisticians, econometrists – this company is very analytical and into metrics.” Mirabile dictu! Metrics are honey to this Pooh blogger.
One of their suite of metrics includes a client satisfaction rating. How clients feel about the services of outside counsel depends greatly on how much they interact with those lawyers. In most companies, the interaction is occasional and high level.
Gillcrist notes that “We also employ a complexity factor for legal work to try to be as fair and objective as possible.” I assume that with all the thousands of matters handled outside on behalf of Liberty Mutual, the law department has developed one or more algorithms to categorize matters by complexity.
Liberty Mutual has staff who deal with all the legal invoices and audit the legal spend. Among them are a number of lawyers and financial auditors who work with Gillcrist and about half of the audit team have law degrees. Clearly, only a huge outside counsel expense can justify such a large and talented legal-bill review team.