Latest from Tim Cummins, IACCM:
”For commercial lawyers, the practice of law is transforming. Acting as a semi-independent advisor on specialist risk and legal issues is no longer enough. Today, the business expects much broader appreciation of opportunities and challenges – and that the support and contracts produced by lawyers will directly contribute to the best possible outcome.
Lawyers are no longer operating purely at a transactional level seeking to protect assets and avoid worst-case scenarios. They are being called upon to assess the wider economic consequences of the agreements they help put in place.”
The nature of legal support must also change:
1) many trading relationships now focus on longer-terms outputs or outcomes. This requires underlying agreements to be more flexible, more adaptive to change.
2) business leaders are swinging away from adversarial models of contracting, focused on price and risk allocation, and switching to more collaborative, open relationships.
3) litigation is very much the exception – and the switch to more relational forms of contract, plus the international nature of many agreements, is accelerating the use of alternative dispute resolution.
4) the business wants to know whether the contracting process is optimizing financial returns. Lawyers have rarely thought about the big picture of contract economics.
New technologies are changing the capabilities of the law department, enabling the collection and analysis of data on a massive scale.
Read more from Tim Cummins in commitment Matters blog The Great Awakening.