Dan Fox: Managed Legal Solutions
‘We partner with in-house departments, and are trusted to build out and manage their in-house functions in a highly skilled, reliable, dependable way. The challenges our clients face include the distraction of their in-house resources on volume heavy non-core tasks, and there is often a lack of repeatable process in place and suppliers can be decentralised.’
Finding ways to reduce legal, compliance and complaints related costs is becoming an increasingly prominent focus for law departments, CEOs, CFOs and COOs alike. In three words the answer is Managed Legal Solutions. Johnson Hana’s specialist approach can drastically cut legal spend by upwards of 50%. Below, CEO Dan Fox shares his insights as to why this revolutionary strategy is being embraced across the world.
Dan founded Johnson Hana in 2016 with the purpose of using technology, project management and dedicated professionals to trim the fat that he had witnessed first-hand while training as a barrister. He recognises more than anyone where and why cost bloat occurs.
So what is Managed Legal Solutions?
Legal costs have historically been seen as inflexible, and steadily rising due to the disconnect between clients and large legal firms. Managed Legal Solutions allow you to outsource your data heavy processes and free up your in-house legal counsel to focus on their core tasks.
A Managed Legal Solution therefore is the outsourcing of repetitive, process driven legal work to a service provider. In our case, we provide this with a combination of smart technology, flexible and experienced resourcing, and project management, a new approach in this jurisdiction which has seen our clients reduce their legal spend by upwards of 50%.
Can you give me some examples of Managed Legal Solutions work?
To use a common example, if your company is affected by a new piece of legislation or regulation, the impact might be a change to all of your commercial contracts. The key to unlocking the value of MLS is in recognising that while identifying the impact of the legislation may require complex, partner led legal advice; locating and updating each contract is a process which can be carried out more efficiently and cost effectively as an MLS.
Other examples would include responding to a volume of sensitive or regulatory complaints, making a bulk property transaction, conducting pre-litigation discovery or even completing a large volume due diligence.
It’s important to note that it’s not just legal departments which can avail of MLS; compliance, complaints, data protection and regulatory teams can all benefit also.
Where does Johnson Hana fit between the traditional legal firms and consultancy firms?
We believe that the legal industry as we know it, requires a profound change. The need for high value partner lead legal advice will always exist and legal firms are ideally placed to provide this. It’s the non-advisory process driven legal & quasilegal work where we help our clients scale back on unnecessary spend.
Most commonly, we work directly with the in-house functions of big businesses who recognise the value add of disaggregating legal work between advice and process but on certain projects including discovery as part of litigation, we partner with partner law firms to provide a turn-key legal solution. This allows our clients to receive a seamless solution from initial advice to project completion.
What impact are you seeing in your clients and how they work?
Fundamentally what we are doing is enabling in-house legal counsel to work smarter. What we are seeing with clients is that their highly skilled in house lawyers are caught up in low-value firefighting. This situation is not cost efficient, bad for staff morale and distracts from a legal department’s strategic goals. Our in-house collaborators in the past have felt disadvantaged as a consequence of feeling caught between a rock and a hard place – their only options were to outsource their bulky legal work to a law firm at unfavorable price points or manage it internally. Neither was an optimal solution.
When Johnson Hana can step in to manage bulky and laborious work, it benefits all parties. Capacity is freed up within the team, staff can focus on complex or value add work and the company’s bottom line also benefits with cost reductions of upwards of 50%.
How critical are Managed Legal Solutions to the future of work?
The legal and regulatory environment in which organisations operate is only becoming more complex and embracing new ways of working is the only way to meet this increased demand on legal departments.
With law firms remaining slow to embrace change, they are unable to meet this demand without onerous costs and cumbersome processes. They have not invested in technology to the extent which we have and do not bring the process based, carefully curated project management approach required to deal with outsourced and volume heavy projects. In upending the conventional delivery models, we believe in-house functions are now beginning to see the purchase of legal solutions as value add rather than value drag. Businesses have grown frustrated with the typical focus on billable hours and appreciate a more collaborative and results focused solution. Output over hours!
In our business, we continue to build out a multidisciplinary team of people with consulting, technology, sales and legal backgrounds. This combination is a radical departure from the typical pyramidal structures associated with law firm models. By investing in diverse backgrounds, we bring a totally different slant to engagement and delivery of solutions and it is all centred around the client, results and output. Customer-centricity is everything and while it might sound obvious, we believe the legal industry has forgotten about it or failed to embrace it.