An innovation is by definition notable. Revisiting it one year on can be very instructive.
You’ll recall the jaw-dropping nature of the deal: Tyco replaced 175-200 law firms with one, Eversheds. Other clients such as Samsung and Azko Nobel have climbed aboard the E-train.
Fiona Smith, the GC of Severn Trent, another new all-in client of Eversheds, goes on the record:
“Eversheds impressed significantly in the selection process as a firm that would invest time and energy in getting to know our business and as a firm that would be committed to helping us all get the very best advice at a reasonable and transparent cost,” says Smith.
Part of Eversheds’ approach is using something most law firms talk about but few use well: technology applied smartly:
So what is the secret weapon that Eversheds uses to get general counsel salivating with its reasonable and transparent costs? According to Eversheds, it is that cornerstone of business – a computer software package.
The program, dubbed the ‘Global Account Management System’, or Gams as it is known affectionately at Eversheds, is the centrepiece of the firm’s tenders.
Gams (not the most gender-neutral moniker, by the way…) allows clients like Tyco to approve work on a case or transaction before work begins. And that is sweet music to any GC or managing counsel who opens a monthly statement and sees a new matter, running into five figures, that is news to them.
Explains Eversheds energy chief Stephen Hopkins:
“No work on any case or transaction for Tyco can start without its approval,” says Hopkins. “If Tyco hasn’t approved it and we just go ahead anyway, we will not get paid.”
Some firms are no doubt looking at 2008 with trepidation. A few may think that the answer is raising rates or pushing fee-earner utilization (i.e., hours billed) higher.
What Tyco-Eversheds shows is that such firms are not facing squarely what is going on in the global corporate legal services market.
Wake up and take a deep breath…