Tata Chemicals Europe has finalised its first legal panel review, using GC Hub’s ‘Agile Panel’ process to appoint firms including DWF, Eversheds, Addleshaw Goddard and Clyde & Co.
GC Hub is a freemium platform launched in May this year, which provides GCs with a platform on which to manage their panel, communicate with and instruct law firms, track law firms’ performance on costs and keep a record of all relevant communication.
Its Agile Panels offering helps in-house teams to streamline and speed up the RFP/tender process with template documentation and a supporting process, after which the client can opt for the panel to be managed by GC Hub.
TCE, which will continue to use GC Hub to manage its panel, took 11 weeks to complete its panel selection.
Phil Davies, General Counsel and Company Secretary for TCE said: “Our review has enabled us to assess a range of law firms (large and boutique) to identify the firms we think are best suited to work with us for the range of work types where we typically use external support. As part of the process we have also been able to test the market in terms of value for money from external spend.
“As we said at the outset, we do not see the panel process as a one off exercise. We will now be using GC Hub to manage the ongoing operation of the panel over the next three years to keep quality, service and costs under review with instructions, feedback and KPI tracking via GC Hub.
“The GC Hub and the “Agile Panel” process has worked extremely well, making the panel process faster and more efficient for is. As a small legal function, we have previously found it difficult to devote sufficient time and resource to run a full panel process, but the support of the GC Hub team of Nigel Goldsworthy and Chris Howe and the template documentation has allowed us to do this quickly, and cost effectively.”
In November Legal IT Insider revealed that FTSE 100 home improvements giant Kingfisher is trialling GC Hub.
The benefits of using the platform are said to be an easy instruction process based on simple templates; dashboards and value/performance tracking on an ongoing basis; easy access to key relationship information on rate cards, value add and client plans; and the feedback given to law firms.
Each quarter law firms enter the total amount that they have billed a client and over how many matters, providing GCs with a notional blended rate that they can use to compare law firm costs. Law firms also add the quote given for work and how much was actually charged, allowing GCs to keep track of how those numbers diverge. At the end of a matter GCs are asked to rank law firms out of 10 on areas such as service levels, commerciality and sticking to the agreed budget.
Kingfisher’s group general counsel and company secretary Clare Wardle said: “GC Hub should enable us to get a clear handle on our costs and support more efficient working with our panel.”
GC Hub is led by chief executive Richard Fleetwood, a former Addleshaw Goddard commercial partner who left the firm at Christmas last year to launch the site, and former Rolls-Royce head of legal and company secretary Nigel Goldsworth, who joined GC Hub in May and is a GC Hub director.
Goldsworthy said: “We are pleased to have been able to work closely with TCE to support them on this important exercise. We believe that the Agile Panel process has resulted in a panel that is tailored to meet the needs of TCE and that will deliver measurable value over its life. Furthermore, the Agile Panel process has delivered this in a time and cost effective way.
“We are also grateful for all the very positive feedback (and ideas for further improvements) received from the participant law firms on the Agile Panel templates and process and how these have helped streamline the panel procurement process.”
The firms appointed in full are:
Full service, including major projects – DWF and Eversheds;
Specialist (for health & safety and environment, property and employment work) – Clyde & Co; Land Law and Myersons respectively;
Major projects and competition – Addleshaw Goddard