How to reduce risk and improve workflows in your litigation team, and what having a system of record really means in practice

May 13, 2021

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Litigation is a dynamic and agile process, with many moving parts that need to be managed effectively and systematically in order for success to be delivered, both to the legal team and the wider organization.

Litigation is perceived as costly, with a recent report finding that 70 percent of in-house lawyers chose not to identify potential litigation risks, due to the concern of higher business costs (Baker McKenzie). However, the consequences of failing to better manage and mitigate risk often come at an even greater expense.

The risky business of litigation

With litigation, it’s critically important to have all of your data in one connected place. Yet, the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, and “why” of a litigated matter are generally scattered throughout email inboxes, shared drives and excel spreadsheets. With this approach, staying apprised of upcoming court dates, court submissions and other deadlines can be difficult. If you’re managing a large number of litigated matters, that difficulty increases exponentially.

The poorly-managed litigation team leaves itself vulnerable to risks that impact the overall value of the team, such as being unable to capture data relating to its work, being blind to the overall workflow, and reductions in productivity which cost the business significant financial, human, and operational resources and reputational harm.

The benefits of a system of record

By using matter management software you’re able to establish a system of record that provides oversight of visible workflow and documents, lets you track and determine productivity and spend, and showcases the value of the litigation team – which means you can find more time to focus on the litigation itself.

Litigation is process-driven. Regardless of where the matter is being litigated it generally follows the same timeline. When an in-house team has all of its matters set up in LawVu, it has all of the contextual data. If the matter proceeds to litigation, a sub-folder can be created for the litigation, which can then pre-populate with all of the folders the organization needs to have – for example correspondence, discovery, pleadings, drafts.

Now, all of the contextual data is linked to that litigation matter.

A key component of legal project management involves task tracking. LawVu’s task feature allows the user to create a project workflow. When a matter proceeds to litigation you can have task templates created to follow that workflow. For example:

  • Case Assessment
  • Settlement / ADR
  • Motion Practice
  • Discovery
  • Trial
  • Appellate Proceedings

Each piece of the workflow can be assigned to the best person to complete a task, whether it’s being managed internally, outsourced, or a hybrid where your team and external resources are working together.

By doing this you maintain visibility over the workflow which can be replicated with each new litigation matter, without having to recreate the workflow itself.

Finding a better way

Imagine being able to find data, documents, and knowledge relating to the early dismissal of frivolous lawsuits, favorable litigation outcomes with minimal expenditure, the prevention of negative outcomes through the implementation of risk-reducing best practices, and staffing considerations around hiring staff rather than engaging outside counsel.

By having control over the data, what was once viewed as unquantifiable is now easily reportable in dollars and resource allocation.

As a result, legal is viewed not only as a highly valuable business unit, but a true business partner as well.

Having a platform and matter management system in place that provides a system of record with workflow visibility and contextual data allows a litigation team to manage their workflow, and make informed business decisions with outcomes that benefit the business.

About LawVu

LawVu’s Legal Workspace is the first truly connected platform for matter, contract and spend management for in-house legal teams.

Lawyers using LawVu work more efficiently, are better connected with the rest of the business, and can focus more on creating better business outcomes for their organization.

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Litigation is dynamic and agile, and therefore the constantly moving parts need to be managed effectively and systematically, taking into account the challenges and outcomes from both a corporate and legal perspective. In this paper, we discuss how to better manage and mitigate risk while also improving workflow efficiencies and reducing business costs.