Harvard Business Review
"At AdvanceLaw, firms are successfully unseating incumbents on high stakes work such as large M&A deals and national trial counsel. These firms have been receiving impressive evaluations from in-house counsel."
Notes the GC of Pernod Ricard: "We are significant players in the Advance Law legal initiative, which gives GCs access to a highly select group of law firms in the US and around the world. This unique initiative represents the future of outside legal services."
Above the Law
"The transmission of market information in legal — which should send clients in droves to the most innovative law firms — is broken." This article describes how AdvanceLaw's 200 GCs retain innovative firms and solve this market problem.
Upwork's GC explains: "We use AdvanceLaw, which is an organization created for GCs to identify really good law firms outside the Am Law 20 or Magic Circle for every type of legal project imaginable. When I was at eBay, we were one of their first clients."
International Bar Association
AdvanceLaw is a company that connects corporate general counsel with firms that "exhibit strong quality, expertise, efficiency, and innovation." Key to AdvanceLaw’s business model is its performance evaluation system, which brings transparency to the process of law firm selection.
This article by a Fortune 200 GC notes that "AdvanceLaw’s attraction to us GCs is that we work with A-Teams" rather than "make buying decisions based on firms' reputations 20 years ago."
"AdvanceLaw is a GC project to provide greater quality assurance when retaining firms. 'AdvanceLaw works with its clients to understand their legal needs, helping, for example, when expanding into a new business line or geography, a large transaction or litigation arises ...'"
AdvanceLaw was recognized by the FT Innovation Awards for its partnership with private equity firm, TPG, "creating the Legal Services Solution to connect TPG's portfolio companies with vetted outside counsel.”
The GC of DXC, Bill Deckelman "turned to trusted advisors AdvanceLaw and UnitedLex to transform his department." Deckelman "customized AdvanceLaw to DXC’s goals, with every legal matter above a threshold referred to AdvanceLaw staff."
Harvard Business Review
"AdvanceLaw is helping general counsel move beyond cost and brand as proxies for quality ... and shares performance information with its membership of general counsel from major global companies, including Google, Panasonic, Nike, and eBay."
3 Geeks and a Law Blog
"AdvanceLaw has brought together GCs of the largest corporations into something that looks like a consortium. The GCs pool resources to vet law firms and, once firms qualify for the go-to list, commit to sharing feedback on service."
“There is a chasm between what clients say they want and what their actions (through their spend) suggest they want.” Based on AdvanceLaw’s Voice of the Client research, there are key behaviors law firms can emulate to turn clients into loyalists.
“AdvanceLaw’s careful vetting and commitment to transparency ensure a level of certainty for Honeywell." Notes a Divisional GC at Honeywell, “We love partnering with AdvanceLaw. We view them as an opportunity pipeline to discover excellent, diverse firms.”
The Legal Whiteboard
"AdvanceLaw is a good example of what Richard Susskind calls a 'closed legal community.' To get into the AdvanceLaw network, prospective law firms are run through a rigorous RFP process that evaluates things like expertise, innovation, quality …. If a firm makes the AdvanceLaw cut, they start getting assignments from participating legal departments. But here is the enormous differentiator. Feedback is collected and shared with AdvanceLaw legal departments. Susskind is right. Closed legal communities are going to be major disruptors in the legal marketplace."
A sneak peek from the GC Thought Leaders Experiment, and the plan to work with law firm leaders to identify which practices provide the most client value. "This is a collaborative effort, with the potential to upend how legal work gets done, while bringing clients and law firms closer."
On a panel with Tom Gardner (CEO of The Motley Fool) and Derek van Bever (Professor at Harvard Business School), AdvanceLaw’s Firoz Dattu answers the question of what makes disruption in the legal industry particularly difficult.
"While in-house clients are attracted to the potential cost-savings of flat fees, many worry they may adversely impact quality. The thinking is that law firms may staff flat fee work with B-team lawyers. Data from AdvanceLaw's GC Thought Leaders Experiment suggest otherwise."
Through convergence efforts, clients assemble panels of key law firms to simplify management and reduce spend. In this white paper, AdvanceLaw's Dan Currell explains what works and doesn't (while discussing the market for Louis Vuitton and Hermes handbags).
"Starting in early 2017, AdvanceLaw began measuring which in-house and law firm practices yield better outcomes. Participating are GCs from Panasonic, Mastercard, Molson Coors, Nike, Pernod Ricard, Avaya, Keurig Green Mountain, Becton Dickinson, PayPal ...."
"AdvanceLaw identifies high-performing firms and lawyers for the general counsel of over a hundred large organizations. Launched in 2010, the idea developed because Dattu saw that in-house counsel were reluctant to take risks associated with moving work away from incumbents..."
"AdvanceLaw is a service designed by general counsel keen to improve the legal market and provides customized support to general counsel participants, helping them select firms and lawyers for their legal needs, and helping them share valuable performance information.”
Wall Street Journal
"In the past, general counsel would often hire well-known law firms as a sort of insurance policy to reassure nervous boards and investors, particularly during big transactions. Clients are increasingly willing to hire [non-white shoe firms], according to a recent survey of top legal officers at 88 companies by AdvanceLaw, a company that helps GCs at Panasonic, Google, and other companies vet law firms and attorneys."
"Some of the authors’ most enticing data surrounds AdvanceLaw’s clients that actually moved [legal work]. Regarding this, the authors say, 'firms of varying sizes and pedigree are successfully unseating AmLaw 20 and Magic Circle incumbents on high stakes work (e.g., a recent M&A deal valued at $500 million; national trial counsel for a significant multi-state class action).' To the authors’ credit, aside from being brilliant – see their bios – AdvanceLaw seems to have a unique view into corporate America’s legal departments.
"At CLOC's inaugural conference in San Francisco, the message coming from legal department operations executives and law firms is one and the same: law firms are ripe for change. 'When the costs of switching are high, it results in complacency at law firms,' said Firoz Dattu, the CEO of AdvanceLaw, which helps connect law departments with innovative law firms. He told legal ops execs to inspire in-house lawyers who may be set in their ways: '[O]ur job — the people in this room … is trying to move the entire department so that the problem is solved.'"
"GCs know that talent is not just at the AmLaw 20 or Magic Circle, but they don’t know which partners to trust if they migrate work away from incumbent or pedigreed firms. AdvanceLaw identifies law firms in the US and around the world that understand that quality and efficiency are not mutually exclusive. AdvanceLaw makes the legal market more efficient for GCs and rewards good lawyers who impress their clients."
University of Chicago Press
"Most in-house counsel spend very little time managing law firms, yet they know that this is a very important task that often gets ignored. As the legal market wakes up, gaps are starting to be filled. A recent example is AdvanceLaw, which helps companies find and retain lawyers."
Above the Law
"Historically, elite firms derived safety and security from the knowledge that they could depend on big fees from large institutional clients. A new study by AdvanceLaw, cited in the Harvard Business Review, confirms that GCs don’t want them any more. After talking to the general counsel of 88 teeny-tiny companies like Lenovo, Vanguard, Shell, Google, NIKE, Walgreens, Dell, eBay, RBC, Panasonic, Nestle, Progressive, Starwood, Intel, and Deutsche Bank, the survey found that 74 percent of GCs would be much more likely to choose a less-pedigreed firm for high-stakes litigation over a more-pedigreed firm (defined as Am Law 20 or Magic Circle) if the difference in cost was 30 percent or more."
"While at eBay, Geoff Brigham developed relationships with outside counsel who are well-versed in legal issues facing web-based organizations, many of whom now work with Wikimedia. And he taps into AdvanceLaw, a coalition connecting GCs with vetted attorneys who do quality work."
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