Priori, Orrick, Marsh McLennan, Hearst & Zimmer Biomet Share Scout Collaboration at CLOC - Priori

Priori, Orrick, Marsh McLennan, Hearst & Zimmer Biomet Share Scout Collaboration at CLOC


CLOC Panel Photo

The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium Global Institute in May in Las Vegas was a chance for the legal operations community to (finally) get together in-person to renew relationships, forge new bonds and share the incredible work that is being advanced by legal ops professionals around the world.

Priori was privileged to present a popular session, “It Takes a Data Ecosystem: Deepening In-house & Outside Counsel Partnerships.” Priori’s co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Mirra Levitt, moderated a discussion featuring some of our beta partners for Scout: 

  • Wendy Butler Curtis, Chief Innovation Officer, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

  • Andrea Kochensparger, Former Division General Counsel, Head of Global Legal Operations, Zimmer Biomet

  • Farrah Pepper, Chief Legal Innovation Counsel, Marsh McLennan

  • An Trotter, Senior Director of Operations, Hearst

Scout is a first-of-its-kind platform that creates a custom database and robust dashboards for legal departments about their valued outside counsel relationships. In-house teams can search information on lawyer and law firm experience, diversity, and relationship and pricing history, along with reviews, to enhance department-wide knowledge about valued firms. Scout also helps in-house teams identify the right staffing for new projects and tracks outside attorney performance over time. 

The beta partners each presented a different use case for Scout, and the discussion highlighted the collaboration process between a legal technology company, legal departments and an Am Law 50 law firm.

Managing Attorney Reviews

Andrea Kochensparger, formerly with Zimmer Biomet, highlighted Scout as a tool for managing knowledge about outside attorney reviews within a legal department. 

According to Kochensparger, the legal department used to do annual performance reviews for 80% of its law firms. The reviews were often outdated because of the yearly cadence and focused on law firm performance.

“With Scout, we were able to get real-time feedback and better manage performance. We kept the reviews short and focused on the individual lawyers at the firm,” Kochensparger said.

“Real-time reviews versus annual reviews will enable companies to better manage ongoing performance,” Kochensparger said. “By providing reviews at both the lawyer and law firm level, Scout will enable better decision making by in-house departments and deepen relationships with outside firms.”

Inclusion & Diversity

Farrah Pepper of Marsh McLennan addressed Scout’s potential for helping corporate legal departments address inclusion and diversity in their outside counsel.

“Scout is able to slice data and help define success metrics for our inclusion and diversity initiatives,” Pepper said. “We will ultimately gain better visibility and enhanced alignment with outside counsel and deeper relationships.”

In building and implementing Scout, Marsh McLennan has been partnering with some of its top firms. Pepper said her team initially wondered if firms would be resistant to sharing this diversity data, but she has been “heartened” by this process of working with firms to move the needle on diversity.

Streamlining Rate Reviews

An Trotter stated that Scout is helping Hearst make its annual rate review process more efficient. Hearst’s legal department was spending a lot of time manually assembling law firm profiles for their rate review committee, which included performance data for the firm as a whole, incorporating quantitative billing data with information on diversity, quality and expertise.

“Scout reduces the manual effort that it takes to put together these in-depth profiles,” Trotter said.

It also reduces the risk that a legal team will over-rely on personal relationships where there’s a lack of data about firm performance, Trotter noted.

Scout is “enriching conversations about what firms bring to the table,” Trotter said.

Why Would Law Firms Participate?

Wendy Butler Curtis from Orrick offered a unique law firm perspective to round out the panel discussion. 

“How many of you have used Zillow to shop for a house?” Curtis asked the audience. “Or Petfinder to find a pandemic companion?”

Similarly, Scout will enable in-house teams to look at “what’s important to me about my outside counsel?” Curtis said.

Curtis said she thinks Priori is creating what will be an industry standard for how to communicate between in-house teams and law firms.

“From the law firm perspective, I think it's going to enhance and deepen our relationships. That's to me what this is really about,” Curtis said.

Building a Data Ecosystem

Priori’s Mirra Levitt noted that Scout is a product of an incredible collaboration across the legal ecosystem. 

“Five teams working on different problems, with different perspectives, came together to build something to address the needs of both in-house teams and outside counsel,” Levitt said.

“This collaboration brought together some of the most brilliant, creative, forceful leaders in legal, united on the core principle that this kind of data ecosystem could deepen and enhance relationships between law departments and law firms,” Levitt said.

Scout will propel initiatives like cost savings, panel programs, rate reviews and diversity and inclusion analysis and create a new paradigm of data-driven communication and collaboration between in-house legal and law firms.

For more information about Scout, please visit us online to schedule a demo.


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