The legal department provides the safety net for any company. Sometimes, however, that net is unnecessarily expensive. Striking the right balance between risk and cost is the task of legal management.

The costs of legal consulting have been rising for years. Increasing compliance requirements, widespread professionalization of business relationships, developing ideas of security – there is often a wide range of problems standing in the way of optimization of the expenses for solicitors and legal consulting. On the one hand, it is very difficult to differentiate between really important, often legally obligatory costs and consulting services that support day-to-day regulatory and project work. On the other hand, the costs are often extremely fragmented and distributed over many providers. Large companies in particular have no transparency with regard to their legal expenses. Smaller companies often do not have internal specialists who can assess the services of legal experts or manage them during a project. In addition, the usual approaches to reducing costs have little success.

  • A budget block on legal services is largely ineffective because legal disputes cannot be prevented and the financial risk of a lost dispute often seems extremely high.
  • Negotiating rates with large law firms is not usually successful as there are no alternatives and, in particular, the amount of time it will take to work on a legal issue cannot be estimated – so the overall costs do not necessarily fall.

Intero Consulting has developed an approach in which a three-stage process is followed, usually with a cooperation partner:

  • Development of an overview of the requirements and costs with the aid of questionnaires and interviews.
  • Development of an internal approval process chain: in addition to a risk evaluation of individual legal areas, the respective risks must also be classified and corresponding authorization guidelines drawn up.
  • Comparison of the requirements and providers used with the portfolio available on the market. Smaller boutique companies, in particular, usually offer a high degree of specialist knowledge, which can be used more cost-effectively than large law firms because of lower overhead costs. A legal evaluation system also helps to refine the selection of legal experts further.
  • A significant increase in transparency as far as the costs of legal services are concerned facilitates the identification of approaches to optimizing costs.
  • Commissioning and approval processes objectivize the selection of a law firm and, if used consistently, start saving money very quickly.
  • A supplier portfolio with preferred law firms for specific areas of consulting helps with the selection of the most appropriate partner.