Corporate and Securities Law, Hedge Funds, Subprime Lending, Bankruptcy, CDOs and Synthetic Structures, Derivatives
Class Action and Complex Litigation
Antitrust and Trade Regulation, Insurance, Pharmaceutical, Employment, Product Liability, Mass Tort, Environment Law
Copyright Infringement, Patent, Trademark
Partnering with Non-Firm Firms
Twenty years ago non-firm firms (NFFs) didn’t exist. Traditional firms had a monopoly on all aspects of legal work, including non-legal parts such as document preparation or document review. However, over the last decade, the existence of NFFs has become more prevalent throughout the legal landscape. Non-firm firms are specialized organizations focused on a specific purpose and process. NFFs are now saving traditional firms and their clients millions of dollars aggregate. The value of partnering with an NFF is clear.
Historically, firms have provided specialized practice groups for their clients. For instance, if a client should need bankruptcy counseling, the firm would direct them to their bankruptcy attorneys. If a client needed to be advised in a divorce proceeding, the firm would supply the client with an attorney who concentrates on family law. However, specialization never went beyond any particular substantive area of law. The attorney and her staff that are representing a client on a bankruptcy matter are also the ones performing the document preparation and review. This, of course, would come at a considerable cost to the client.
NFFs are beginning to introduce further specialization into the legal world and, as a result, considerable cost savings to traditional firms and their clients. This shouldn’t be surprising either. Specialized work forces have developed over time throughout most industries and businesses. For example, when constructing a new home, a general contractor is hired to oversee and to ultimately be responsible for the work. While the general contractor could perform the electrical and plumbing work that is needed, he instead hires electricians and plumbers that focus specifically on those tasks. As a result, the general contractor saves money and maintains an even higher standard of work through the use of experts. NFFs are now providing traditional firms a similar cost-effective specialization model.
Instead of billing their clients $300-500 per hour (on the low end) to review thousands upon thousands of pages of documents, traditional firms are now partnering with NFFs to review the documents. As a result, traditional firms are saving a considerable amount of money for their clients. In addition, NFFs are providing a higher standard of document review because they are specialized to perform this type of work. NFFs typically boast process-driven services that offer systematic and constant feedback. This, in turn, allows the traditional firms to focus on the substantive matters of the case. As a result, traditional firms are in fact providing their clients with a higher quality work product while bringing their clients considerable cost savings. The value of partnering with a NFF is obvious. It’s amazing it’s taken the legal world this long to realize it.