Lloyds Bank’s technology-savvy general counsel Kate Cheetham has received the green light to begin a pitch process for an e-billing system after awarding LexisNexis the contract to roll out Visualfiles across the 320-lawyer in-house legal team.
The bank had already been using Visualfiles across a third of its in-house legal team but following a competitive pitch which LexisNexis won, the case management system will now be rolled out to all lawyers across 15 locations.
The move led by Cheetham, who took over her current role in April 2015, having been deputy GC since 2013, has been partly driven by the desire to improve the security of document sharing between the team and reduce reliance on emails.
Cheetham, who while deputy GC also stood in for part-time GC Andrew Whittaker in an innovative senior job-sharing arrangement, will now turn her focus to an e-billing system. She told the Insider: “E-billing isn’t just about monitoring fees but can show us what the most cost-effective way of gearing a deal is in terms of the ratio of partners, associates and trainees and compare the cost of work from one low cost centre to another.”
Lloyds requires its law firms to report to it each month and more formally every quarter. It analyses where its biggest spend is coming from and looks at trends and themes year-on-year. Three years ago it set up a legal practice management
team which helps to check invoices but much of the time consuming cost analysis is done by the sourcing department – a task that it is hoped will be considerably reduced with new technology.
While Lloyds has not traditionally been ahead of the curve in terms of technology it has shown itself to be unafraid of innovation and was one of the first in-house teams to use more than one law firm on the same transaction.
Cheetham, who has an interest in how technology can improve work processes more widely, said: “It doesn’t matter if you’re frightened of technology, your anxiety is not going to change the future.”
First reported in September’s Legal IT Insider, click here for the latest stories, analysis and wins of the past month