The first step to controlling legal spend

Nathan Wenzel | February 3, 2016 | Articles

We’re committed to bringing transparency to CFOs for every expense entry on their P&Ls. We started with legal expense because it has the biggest opportunity for improvement. Customers want clarity and law firms want to take care of their customers.

Step 1 to Controlling Legal Spend… Organize.

The first step to legal spend management is to organize your legal spend by matter. That way, you can see where your money is going. A matter is like a project; it’s a way to categorize expenses. Your law firm has probably already set up matters for you. They’re taking their best guess at what’s important to you. But only you, your CFO, controller, and general counsel know how you want to organize your spend.

You probably already have a “general corporate” matter. You may also have matters for trademarks, patents, privacy, litigation, employment, and any other effort where you need outside legal help.

One Big Bucket

Take a look at your current legal spend. If you only have one matter, then all your legal expense is getting dumped into one big bucket making it difficult to understand where all that money is going and why. Separating legal fees by matter will make it easier to understand your legal spend and make the bills much less intimidating.

Companies should communicate with their law firms to get the correct matters setup. Law firms will be happy to have direction from their customers. General counsel will be happy with greater transparency into their legal spend. CFOs will be happy with a better ability to plan future expense. Everybody wins.

At SimpleLegal, we help customers communicate with their law firms for effective vendor management. We help customers be informed consumers and we help law firms take even better care of their customers.

If you’re a SimpleLegal customer, you can see an overview of your spend as well as spend by matter, by firm, or by legal entity. Schedule a demo of SimpleLegal and we can help you figure out the right matters for your business.