4 Tech Solutions to Tame The Legal RFP Beast

Corporate counsel and law firms agree that the RFP (request for proposal) process is broken, according to a recent American Lawyer article. When RFPs fail (and it’s often) blame can be cast on both GCs and outside firms, as “requests and responses aren’t thoughtful, targeted or tailored enough.”

Frequent RFP issues discussed in the article include:

  • Firms believe that some companies use RFPs even when they already know which firm they’ll use. Why? Some companies use RFP fee proposals to get competitive pricing bids they can then use to negotiate better matter fees with the firm they’ve already chosen.
  • Law firms answer RFPs with a one-size-fits-all marketing packet that doesn’t answer the specific questions posed by the company/legal department.
  • Companies ask the wrong questions or too many, making it impossible to analyze all the answers that pour in.

The article suggests that while the RFP process is broken, it is fixable. American Lawyer reviews several tech solutions to help firms and legal departments manage/refine the proposal process. They include:

  • Virtual Pricing Director offers “guided interview templates to help law firms create more rigorous budgets for work proposals”
  • BanyanRFP is a secure, cloud-based RFP generator that helps companies create RFPs that define the work-scope for each phase of the engagement; inform law firms of staffing preferences and provide questions for the firms to answer.
  • Bodhala has “developed a matter-based RFP system that incorporates data the company says it has gathered from more than 10 million line-item entries from law firm invoices.”
  • Persuit, an Australia-based RFP management platform works “with forward-thinking legal departments including Shell, Walmart and Microsoft.”

From RFPs to structuring fees, managing the legal relationship is fraught with challenges. Tune in to the upcoming webinar ‘GCs want What GCs Want: How to Win and Retain Business’ on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 to learn how GCs look beyond the RFP to choose a law firm.

By V.L. Brunskill


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