Redefining Matter Management
A Best Practice Guide to Improving Processes and Profitability
Peter Bennett, Barbara J Boake, Toby Brown, Wendy Chang, Anthony Davis, Sally Dyson, Chad Ergun, Rick A Kathuria, Aileen Leventon, Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD, Scott Rechtschaffen, Peter Lane Secor
A collection of real world case studies highlighting some of the most important achievements and ideas in matter management today.
In well-established fields, change is often slow; perhaps none more so than in the legal world. Though progress is being made, uptake has been rather slow, much to the dismay of those in the information management business. Conversely to its cousin, case management, matter management should be thought of more in terms of low-volume but high-value information. The process thus lends itself nicely to forming centralized systems within organizations. It is so pervasive as to allow users to make decisions (e.g. conflict resolution) before matters are even opened, and can maintain a high level of time data accuracy and transparency via unalterable fundamental data. From innovative and simple interfaces to enhanced reporting tools, from notification systems to customizable workflows, triumphs within matter management have enabled companies to become more efficient by saving time and money, and to engage stakeholders in a meaningful way.
Redefining Matter Management: A Best Practice Guide to Improving Processes and Profitability is a collection of case studies that highlights some of the most important achievements and ideas in the field today.
Table of Contents
|About the authors||xi|
|Chapter 1: How law departments can use legal project management to enhance performance and add value||1|
|The threshold – Defining the role of the legal department||1|
|Five questions to maintain focus||2|
|Four stages of a matter||3|
|Pick the right tool||8|
|Chapter 2: A simple legal project management framework||13|
|Legal mandates are projects||13|
|Legal mandates have four project stages||13|
|Each project stage has two project management tasks and one project management deliverable||14|
|Your client participates at every stage of the project||15|
|A project manager’s responsibilities can be delegated||15|
|Designing a framework that works||16|
|Chapter 3: Opportunistic approaches to employing Lean Six Sigma||17|
|Morgan Lewis applies Six Sigma to loan services – since 1974||17|
|Combining process improvement and project management at Fisher Matthews PLLC||18|
|OFCCP audit process improvement at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C||19|
|Process improvement in litigation||22|
|Increased efficiency and reduced errors at The Hunoval Firm||23|
|Lean Six Sigma for mergers and acquisitions at Husch Blackwell||24|
|Capturing firm experience at Pillsbury||24|
|Combining opportunistic and systematic approaches||25|
|Chapter 4: Rethinking workflows: re-engineering case management processes||29|
|Challenge and opportunity||29|
|Creating a new approach||30|
|Chapter 5: Data-driven knowledge management – matter lifecycle management||37|
|Knowledge management and big data||39|
|Law firm adoption||40|
|Matter lifecycle management||41|
|Work in progress||45|
|The value of MLM||46|
|Chapter 6: Taking knowledge management to a strategic level||49|
|What you need to know about the state of the industry||49|
|What you need to know about basic firm economics||50|
|What you need to know about system components||54|
|Netting it out||61|
|Chapter 7: Componentized budgets for cost benefit analysis||63|
|What is componentized pricing?||63|
|Collecting componentized data||67|
|Using componentized data||72|
|Chapter 8: Creating a realistic matter budget||77|
|Are budgets necessary?||77|
|The link between annual and matter budgets||79|
|Historic price information||79|
|A word on tools||89|
|Chapter 9: Managing client intake to increase profitability||91|
|Engagement letters/fee agreements||96|
|Chapter 10: X-raying matters – how to improve matter risk management||99|
|The eureka moment||101|
|Creating the system||102|
|How it works||102|
|The second eureka moment||106|
|Impact on the firm||107|
|Improving risk management||108|
|Expanding the scope||109|
|Client risk assessment||110|
|The core secrets of PII risks – or how to reduce your PII claims and premiums||112|
Peter Bennett has been chief operating officer (COO) of Bates Wells Braithwaite since 2006. During that time BWB has expanded from GBP8 million to GBP25 million with a 225 headcount, converted to an LLP and then to an ABS, and has then become the only law firm in the UK to gain the world accreditation for being a socially responsible profit-making business (B Corps). He is the compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA), risk manager, data protection officer, leads the risk and compliance service, as well as having director level reports in accounting, Human Resources (HR), finance and Information Technology (IT).
Barbara J Boake
Barbara J Boake is a senior partner at McCarthy Tetrault LLP, practising in the areas of bankruptcy, insolvency and restructuring. With over 20 years of practice experience and having served on her firm's board of partners and its executive team, Barbara was named one of the `Top 100 Most Powerful Women' in Canada by the Women's Executive Network. While a member of her firm's executive team she was responsible for leading the development and implementation of the firm's `Dialogue Project Management (TM)' programme. Barbara speaks regularly on all aspects of project management for the legal profession. Barbara can be contacted via email at McCarthy Tetrault LLP.
Director of Strategic Pricing and Analytics, Akin Gump
A partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson, represents lawyers in all types of complex matters that involve the practice of the law, including risk management counseling, ethics, crises management, fee related issues, discipline defense, hotline counseling, professional liability, and litigation defense. Ms. Chang is a certified specialist in Legal Malpractice Law by the State Bar of California's Board of Legal Specialization. Ms. Chang is a member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and is an advisor to the State Bar of California's Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct. She is a past chair of the State Bar of California's Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct.
Best described as a lawyer's lawyer. Mr. Davis is a member of the Lawyers for the Profession (R) practice group and his practice focuses on the laws that govern lawyers. He advises attorneys and law firms on legal professional and ethics issues, law firm creation, merger and dissolution, risk management, and loss control. Mr. Davis is a lecturer-in-law at the Columbia University School of Law, teaching "Professional Responsibility Issues in Business Practice." As an adjunct professor of law, Mr. Davis taught "Legal Profession" at Brooklyn Law School for many years. Mr. Davis has served as a member of the New York City Bar Professional Ethics Committee and is a former chair of the Professional Development Committee.
Director of Firm Sense Limited, a specialist consultancy providing client relationship evaluation and advice for law firms Chad Ergun Director, global practice services and business intelligence, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Rick A Kathuria
National director, project management office and legal logistics, at Gowlings
Aileen Leventon is a business counselor to the legal industry and a practicing lawyer with over 30 years of experience. She consults with law departments, law firms and individual lawyers on strategies to manage and sustain sound financial performance and continuously improve the efficiency of legal work. In addition to advising, coaching, and training, Aileen has facilitated numerous after-action reviews of closed matters to promote buy-in of legal project management techniques. She has also been embedded in ongoing matters to provide analysis and coaching to bring distressed matters back on course.
Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD
Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD is a Legal Lean Sigma Black Belt and a certified Six Sigma Green Belt.
Chief knowledge officer, Littler Mendelson
Peter Lane Secor
Peter Lane Secor is the director of strategic pricing and project management with Pepper Hamilton LLP. Mr. Secor concentrates on legal project management with a focus on improving efficiencies through shared management responsibilities, strengthening communication and making value transparent. His expertise includes client/matter profit analysis and providing partners with performance evaluations from a financial perspective.