Axiom, a legal staffing-turned-technology company, recently announced a five-year deal with Johnson & Johnson (J & J) to provide multi-shore contract management services to the pharmaceutical giant. Axiom will support J&J’s global procurement contracting function, helping to standardize its vast trove of procurement agreements across a dozen contract types and 10 languages. This is not Axiom’s lone big dollar, long-term contract with a major corporation. A couple years ago, it inked an eye-popping $73 million deal with Credit Suisse to process the bank’s “master trading agreements.”
Everyone knows that the role of corporate counsel (a/k/a in-house lawyers) has undergone a transformation that has accelerated post the global financial crisis of 2008. Their number, influence, compensation, responsibilities, and status have risen dramatically. Why?
Pennsylvania Bar President William Pugh’s response to my article on ABA Law Connect was swift and predictable. His perspective explains why my piece was entitled: “The Opposition to ABA Law Connect was about Lawyer Protectionism, Not Public Good.” His argument makes the best case for mine.
DLA Piper has been developing a new hybrid legal service business model with Lawyers On Demand in the UK, and this month Piper has expanded the model into Australia. Mark Cohen sits down with Lee to discuss the deals, the business models, and the possible outcomes of DLA Piper’s moves.
Ever watch card players shuffle the deck? The purpose, of course, is to rearrange the cards for a new game. It’s a “reboot.” And it’s entertaining.
Is that what we are seeing with legal delivery: a reshuffling of the deck?
For decades, the game has been played without a remix. Law firms have dealt the same hand. No reshuffle. And their corporate clients rarely groused the deck was stacked. The outcome was entirely predictable: law firm wins. Rinse and repeat.
But the game has changed, especially since 2008. The deck is being reshuffled. Here’s how.
Why Should Anyone Invest in a Law Firm or a Legal Services Provider?
Mark A. Cohen, CEO of Legal Mosaic, Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, co-founder of Clearspire, and, formerly, noted civil trial lawyer, talks about the changed delivery system for legal services, the difference between law firms and new legal services providers and why investing into them could be an interesting decision.
Mark A. Cohen was interviewed by Bruno Mascello for one of a series of “Fireside Chats With Global Thought Leaders.”
Over decades the legal services market has been dominated by law firms. Nowadays time is changing in various views. We are still experiencing the consequences of the financial crisis in 2008, customers focus on insourcing work and new entrants, that do not work like traditional law firms, try to win a piece of the cake. Any key points to keep in mind when talking about such changes?
Historically, law firms have had a hegemony on legal service delivery -they did it all. In recent years things are different due disaggregation of legal services as well as a global labour arbitrage facilitated by technology, as described so well in Tom Friedman’s “The world is flat”, and by re-regulation of legal services in the UK, Australia, and, to a lesser degree, in other nations. As well, the notion that “only lawyers can do certain tasks” has effectively been debunked, especially after the global financial crisis of 2008 created belt tightening by business. As a consequence the delivery of legal services – as opposed to the practice of law – is changing very rapidly. The practice of law, which includes the rules of evidence and the ethical rules governing the conduct of lawyers, have not changed much at all since I became a young trial lawyer more than 35 years ago. However, the structure by which they deliver it has changed quite a bit. I would therefore underscore the distinction of these two points – legal practice versus the delivery of legal services – and not to use them interchangeably because they are different.
What distinguishes law firms from these new entrants to the legal market? [Read more…]