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A multi-faceted initiative to reduce the number of lawsuits pending (Holcim US)

A previous post describes the return on investment of the law department of Holcim (US) (See my post of May 4, 2007.). In the article cited there, from the Mich. B.J., Jan. 2007 at 35, the company’s general counsel describes very briefly one of the objectives her team achieved.

“With an overall goal of reducing outside counsel spending, our team set an initiative for the year to reduce the number of cases pending by net 10 percent, without exceeding appropriate settlement ranges.” Having concluded that lawsuits weren’t getting enough attention, “we decided to meet bimonthly as a team to review all pending litigation and to track statistics that were predictive of our costs, such as the length of time a case was open.”

Success was had! “Within three years, the number of pending cases was less than 50 percent of the number existing at the start of the tracking. We then mapped the process to preserve institutional knowledge, which brings value to the organization.” As to process mapping, see my post of Aug. 28, 2005.).

All law departments could winnow their case loads if they diligently pursue that goal.