Knowing Your Profile: Why Litigation Portfolios Matter for Legal Ops – Jeff Cox Writes in ACC Docket
We’re thrilled to share that UniCourt’s Jeff Cox recently had another article published in the ACC Docket, an online publication of the Association of Corporate Counsel. Jeff’s article, Knowing Your Profile: Why Litigation Portfolios Matter for Legal Ops, discusses how and why legal ops should map our their company’s litigation portfolio and the importance of incorporating outside legal data to better understand the body of litigation impacting their particular industry. The article also provides legal ops with easy ways to leverage their portfolio to build better AFAs, conduct enhanced RFPs, and uncover meaningful trends in their matters.
Here below is an excerpt from the introduction of Jeff’s article:
Reviewing your overall litigation portfolio is critical for legal ops to control legal spend and understand your risk profile. A comprehensive review can empower you to successfully bucket matters for Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs), discover trends in your matter volume, identify case types ripe for bill review, and generate additional costs-savings initiatives.
This article discusses strategies to help legal ops build a more complete mapping of their companies’ litigation portfolio, along with methods to leverage their portfolio to derive added benefits and more effective costs-savings initiatives. This article will also review the importance of legal ops expanding beyond their own immediate purview to examine the litigation portfolios of similarly situated companies to uncover trends impacting their industry and incorporate peer strategies for managing litigation.
Mapping your portfolio
To accurately map your company’s litigation portfolio, you need to ask the right questions at the outset. Whether your company is a regional hospital system in Florida, or an international bank operating across the European Union, the foundational questions you need to ask and answer remain largely the same.
The basic questions you need to answer concern the black and white numbers behind the volume of litigation your company is handling. How many cases did you handle last year? The last three, five, and 10 years? What are your overall trends (increases/decreases)? In what jurisdictions are your cases filed? What is the average cost of your cases (increases/decreases in the last three, five, and 10 years)? What jurisdictions have the highest costs per case? In what percentage of your cases are you the plaintiff? The defendant? How many open cases do you have? How long do your cases remain open, on average? How many of your cases close within the first year? How many have been open for over 10 years?
With these and other basic questions, you can gauge where you are and where you might be going litigation-wise, but you also need to break down your portfolio by practice area and case type. Take the example of a legal ops team within a large hospital system in Miami. Your company may face medical malpractice cases, but you may also handle contract litigation with medical supplies vendors, slip-and-fall cases at your hospital locations, and, depending on the size of your system, a steady stream of employment litigation or human resource related cases.
Contact Us if you are interested in learning more about how your legal ops team can leverage UniCourt’s data for your litigation portfolio or how you can get real-time access to structured, enriched data through our Legal Data APIs.