Considered the mainstay of legal work outsourced to third-party service providers, contract lifecycle management (CLM) platforms allow in-house legal departments to unlock value by shifting commoditised but often time-consuming and volume-intensive tasks to LPO providers and law companies. CLM services see providers assist with the drafting and standardisation of contract templates, tracking workflow, simplifying approvals and execution, and analysing performance, often under a centralised, intuitive user interface. Service providers particularly come to the fore in major contract remediation and repapering tasks, where businesses facing new regulatory hurdles or internal policy changes are required to review, renegotiate or effect changes to entire portfolios of legal contracts.
While our research shows that this market is still dominated by full-service independent providers, today’s clients are increasing turning to more boutique platforms – such as financial services-focused companies DRS and Kalexius – as well as the Big Four accountancy firms, whose long-heralded entry into the legal services market appears to be directed towards handling business process tasks faced by legal departments rather than challenging law firms in the more traditional legal market. Law firms themselves, while increasingly setting up service centres in low-cost jurisdictions to improve cost efficiency in document-intensive undertakings, generally offer these services to clients of the broader firm and not external parties only seeking its CLM capabilities.