Economic Downturn Prompts Creation Of New Service
To Manage Corporate Spending On Legal Services
Service is free if it doesn’t cut legal costs by 15 percent or more
NASHVILLE, Tenn. and AUSTIN, Texas, July 1, 2010 – As corporations have focused on cutting costs to counter shrinking revenues during recessionary times, they have met with limited success in reducing the appetite of one very large cost center: outside legal services.
RFx Legal™, the first online procurement service tailored by lawyers for the legal industry, allows corporate in-house counsel to significantly reduce what they spend on outside legal services. In fact, the service is free if it doesn’t cut legal costs by at least 15 percent.
And a 15 percent savings is just the beginning, said attorney Courtney Sapire, who co-founded RFx Legal with legal industry entrepreneur Joe Freedman.
“We estimate that RFx Legal can reduce the costs of legal services by 20 to 50 percent and reduce the time it takes to find and hire the right firms by 30 percent,” said Sapire, RFx Legal’s president and chief marketing officer.
Automates the process of hiring outside counsel
RFx Legal saves corporate law departments time and money by automating the request for proposal (RFP) and request for information (RFI) process and syncing it with a continually updated database of law firms around the country, to which corporations can add the law firms they use most often. Law firms that are invited to respond can not only respond online, but can also submit electronic bids on the work. Corporations issuing the RFP can then conduct one or more bidding rounds, either by sealed bid, or to maximize savings, by reverse auction. Participating law firms can see the current low bid before submitting their new price.
With two decades of experience in the legal industry serving Fortune 1000 companies and large law firms, Freedman and Sapire were acutely aware of the financial challenges facing the industry. These challenges were recently specified in the “2009 ACC/Serengeti Managing Outside Counsel Survey,” which revealed that controlling outside legal spend is the number one priority for in-house counsel.
Benefits both law firms and their clients
“The benefits to our corporate customers are obvious: substantial savings and an automated, more efficient sourcing process,” said Freedman, RFx Legal chairman and chief executive officer.
But is this gain offset by law firms’ loss? Not at all, said Freedman. Firms benefit by a much higher return on the investment of resources.
“Our application streamlines response capabilities, and as our customer base grows, firms will gain access to more work opportunities and new clients,” he added. “Responses that currently take days and weeks to complete can be done much faster. There’s also a mindshare component – an easier RFP/RFI response process means firms will have more marketing ‘touchpoints’ with existing and potential clients. But the most compelling benefit is the opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to clients’ desire to control costs. In a highly competitive market, that might be the best feature of all. RFx Legal will be the competitive edge for participating law firms.”
“Plus, law firms can use RFx Legal to better manage their spending on outside services, such as expert testimony, document imaging, e-discovery services and contract staffing,” Sapire said. “So firms can benefit in the same way as corporations on the buying end. And like companies, reduced costs for firms means bigger profit margins.”
To use RFx Legal, a corporate law department first creates an RFP or RFI with RFx Legal’s menu-driven online program. The RFP can be quite detailed, yet it takes a fraction of the time it would normally take to write because the process is automated. Clients can invite existing outside counsel, or search for new firms in the RFx Legal Services Network™. Alternatively, RFx Legal consultants can assist with the identification process and match the RFP with qualified prospective firms. The tool then analyzes many variables to show how choices will affect costs.
Beyond cost savings to better management of legal services
RFx Legal works even if the driving force behind decision-making isn’t cost. For example, corporate counsel can use RFx Legal to fulfill corporate objectives by narrowing outside counsel selections based on law firm diversity, geography, expertise or other criteria.
“RFx Legal is a real game changer in terms of controlling legal spend for corporations and increasing revenue predictability for law firms,” Sapire said. “The software facilitates strategic decision-making, enabling a legal department to run various scenarios to determine the cost and quality implications of sourcing decisions.”
Corporate clients pay a subscription fee to use RFx Legal. Law firms can pay to enhance their presence in the database with additional information such as areas of expertise, experience in particular types of cases and even success rates.
RFx Legal currently has offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Austin, Texas with plans for additional offices in New York and Houston, Texas underway.
RFx Legal is a trademark of RFx Legal, LLC. All other products and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
About RFx Legal:
RFx Legal delivers the first online procurement application tailored by lawyers for the legal industry. Solving the number 1 challenge in the legal industry, the RFx Legal application reduces outside legal costs and increases revenue predictability for service providers. The RFx Legal software helps organizations make strategic decisions on how to save and spend valuable resources. As the category leader for legal spend management, the RFx Legal platform helps buyers of legal services analyze legal spend, source appropriate legal service providers, automate the RFP/RFI process, and negotiate rates. Similarly, sellers of legal services can respond to RFPs and RFIs more quickly and efficiently, gain access to new work opportunities and strengthen relationships. For more information, go to www.rfxlegal.com.