3 Tactics to Help Tame the Litigation Beast
Commercial lawsuits are occurring in record numbers at the same time legal departments are trying to control the cost of litigation. Here are three tips to help keep a lid on costs without sacrificing the quality of representation, particularly in high-stakes matters.
1. Define a Budget and Explore Alternative Fee Structures
Today, companies are creating more detailed budgets and setting flat fees for certain tasks. Instead of a single matter fee, companies are budgeting each stage of the case, from handling initial disclosures and conducting document review to negotiating a settlement or conducting a trial. This affords a company greater transparency into the case’s entire lifecycle in order to better manage costs.
Many law departments have negotiated fixed-fee or alternative billing arrangements with their outside lawyers. Other legal departments are using performance incentives that compensate the outside legal counsel, which not only reduces up-front costs, but creates shared risk between firm and client. Many others have found that Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is a beneficial long-term cost-saving strategy, especially in the area of litigation.
2. Leverage Technology to Its Full Potential
Litigation process technology that increases efficiency, uses business intelligence, and enhances collaboration will help reduce bottom line costs. For example, technology can simultaneously extend productivity and enhance legal analysis in document review. It can also reduce some of the administrative tasks that remain part of every document review project.
Today’s advanced document review technologies prioritize or rank documents based on a system of objective relevance criteria. Unlike traditional linear review, document ranking greatly increases the odds that the legal team will review the most important documents early in the litigation lifecycle, which could result in faster case resolution.
3. Evaluate Your Compliance Programs to Reduce Risk
Companies should assess their risk-management techniques and procedures, as well. Today, companies are adopting systems and strategies aimed not only at reducing the risk of being sued but that may also allow them to be more proactive in identifying and reporting concerns. By reviewing compliance programs and implementing new tools and processes, companies can reduce litigation-related risks. Companies should also consider placing greater emphasis on enforcing document-retention policies to ensure that electronic and other important data are handled properly.
By following these best practices, you can better control litigation costs – or prevent them from happening altogether.