Convergence Initiatives and Panel Programs — What If The Data Says We’re Wrong?

By Casey Flaherty

Self-reflection can easily become self-delusion. I’m either about to write something that runs counter to my own vested interests, or I’m preemptively defending those interests from unfriendly empirical evidence. I don’t know myself well enough to tell you which. Regardless, I’ve long believed most convergence initiatives waste considerable time for limited benefit despite the fact that I regularly consult on convergence initiatives.

[For those who are unfamiliar with the term, “convergence” is the prelude to a preferred provider, or panel, program. It is the consolidation process by which a law department selects their preferred providers. These initiatives can often reduce the number of firms used by 60% or more. While a few win big, hundreds of firms can lose a client in the process.]

I am saying this now because AdvanceLaw and 25 of their GC’s have forced my hand (see here, here, here, and here for more details on this fantastic undertaking; see here for my initial encounter with AdvanceLaw).

AdvanceLaw is publicly conducting a study of what works and what doesn’t with respect to outside counsel management. This includes convergence initiatives, which are part of my consulting business. I therefore feel compelled to lay down a marker.

Continue reading at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog.