Financial services companies pay the highest legal rates of any industry – but may also be the best at controlling costs. The latest installment of Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions’ Legal Leaders Exchange Podcast welcomes Magen McClintock, Senior Legal Operations Specialist at KeyBank, and John Crawshaw, Business Analytics Manager at PNC Financial Services, who share their thoughts on effective strategies for controlling legal spend.
Nathan Cemenska, Director of Legal Operations and Industry Insights at Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions, moderates the discussion featuring data from ELM Solutions’ “2021 Real Rate Report,” which found only a 2.8% mean increase in the legal rates being paid by banking and finance companies compared to the 10.8% increase experienced by entities in the industrial manufacturing sector.
Both McClintock and Crawshaw noted that their organizations leverage comparative benchmarking data – provided by the rate benchmarking feature in ELM Solutions’ TyMetrix 360° e-billing and matter management solution – to ensure that they are negotiating competitive rates with outside counsel.
“When a timekeeper rate is submitted in the TyMetrix system we can see the rate benchmark come through with the specific rate that was inputted into the system, which is very helpful,” McClintock said. “We can take that information and summarize it for our attorneys if we need their input on the rate approval.”
“PNC frequently utilizes timekeeper and rate benchmarking from TyMetrix. We try to look at our own internal rates compared to other firms while also using the industry benchmarks that we have in place, ”Crawshaw says. “Access to that information provides an invaluable source of support whenever our team is speaking to a law firm about rate increases.”
In addition to its 2021 Real Rate Report, ELM Solutions also published a separate analysis earlier this year – “Financial Services Insights from the 2021 Real Rate Report” – that offered a deeper examination of how legal spend in the heavily regulated finance sector compared to other industry verticals.
Governance, Risk & Compliance is a division of Wolters Kluwer, which provides legal and banking professionals with solutions to help ensure compliance with ever-changing regulatory and legal obligations, manage risk, increase efficiency, and produce better business outcomes.