Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On the Advantages of Centralizing Conflicts Management

Eric Mosca at InOutsource has published an excellent article in the latest ILTA Peer to Peer Magazine: "Centralize Your Conflicts of Interest" --
  • "Your firm’s attorneys are often kept from starting work with a new client because of dozens of pages of potential conflicts. Many law firms send that huge report to the requesting attorney and hope for the best, but there is a better way."
  • "Using internal administrative resources to support the conflicts clearance process ensures that due diligence is performed while also returning billable hours to attorneys who would otherwise lose them tracking down responses."
  • "Transitioning from a decentralized, requesting-attorney-led model of conflicts clearance can be daunting, but busy lawyers faced with ballooning conflicts reports and fewer available hours often welcome assistance even if the firm’s risk management personnel are wary."
  • "If you (or your firm’s partnership) are looking for cost justification for these additional resources, consider this: avoiding even a single conflict of interest claim, disqualification or disgorgement of fees can be a huge cost savings. Speeding the time frame needed to open new matters and ensuring that conflicts due diligence is complete before substantive work begins can also be a major benefit. Consider surveying your firm’s lawyers to quantify the non-billable hours spent on conflicts of interest analysis and review to gauge the amount of potentially billable hours that could be handed back to lawyers. Multiply this by billable rate, and the number looks very attractive."

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