Many ALSPs offer consulting services to organisations seeking to optimise their legal team or the way that legal work gets done. Consulting services may include recommendations as to process improvements, team structure, or technology deployment, and thus be a gateway for other services listed in this guide.
Spending too much on your law firms? Perhaps you should spend a little more to bring your fees under control. Multiple ALSPs now offer legal spend analysis as part of their service offerings, guiding clients on "request for proposal" (RFP) processes, and spotting opportunities to consolidate work.
It's increasingly recognised that simply adding human or technological resources to a broken process can be a recipe for an even worse process. Process improvement involves an element of consulting to review and optimise the way that legal work is done in an organisation, and is often combined with automation of certain repeat processes such as requests for standard advice or documents, or simple contracts.
This is arguably where it all began for the ALSP sector. Starting all the way back in the 2000s with companies like Axiom, LOD, and Obelisk leading the way with short or long term contract staffing solutions providing flexibility for specific transactions or to cover gaps such as parental leaves. The market has now grown exponentially in the sophistication and specificity of staffing offerings, and the players in the market. One major trend has been that of law firms entering the market with their own solutions, often peopled by alumni of the firm.
When we launched Phase One of our (A)LSP Circuit Board in May 2021, one interesting area of feedback was that it was overly focused on processes and had left out the human beings who deliver the work. The message was - "is developing your people not itself a form of service provision?" However, this category is at odds with all other categorisations of the ALSP market that we're aware of, and it also begged the question of what is *not* an ALSP. With this in mind, we’ve included this category and leave it open for feedback. Should it be included? Who should be on it?
A major service offering for enterprise-level ALSPs has been to help clients with large scale contract amendment and migration processes. These projects have often been driven by regulatory change. Players in this space often deploy a mixture of technology and bulk people review, sometimes off-shore, to execute such large-scale projects, with a key challenge (and opportunity) often being the identification and digitisation of the client's contracts themselves. "Where are our contracts?" was the cry across the City.
Using technology solutions, Litigation Management aims to automate routine tasks and optimise the workflow surrounding commercial litigation and investigation. Aiming to create smoother litigation experience, this can include managing deadlines, tracking disputes, organising data, and centralised document management.
ALSPs operating in the Transactional Due Diligence space focus on the vital aspects of transactions such as identifying and quantifying liabilities, hidden costs, industry risks, and target company or borrower contract review at scale. ALSPs here would often claim to offer a more cost-effective solution than work which would traditionally get done by junior staff in law firms, sometimes augmented by technology.
Company Secretarial Support covers the administrative work required for corporate governance and compliance with the laws and regulations of the business. These ALSPs provide support on time-consuming tasks, especially involving statutory compliance obligations; as well as reviewing filings or maintaining records such as engagement with government authorities or interactions with stakeholders.
These ALSPs may offer compliance software used to track and monitor processes in accordance with legal and organisational policies. Compliance solutions will improve transparency, rigor and reduce any risks of breaches in regulatory compliance.
Contract Lifecycle Management is the management of an organisation’s contracts from initiation through execution, performance and renewal or expiry. Many ALSPs will take on the entire ‘CLM’ process, often combining technology and human resources, allowing clients to hand off entire categories of high volume contractual work to a third party. For legal departments, this can help to shorten turnaround times, ensure consistency, and gather unified data on key business obligations.
While some clients will engage ALSPs to manage the entire contract lifecycle, others may seek to outsource only the contract review element, while keeping other parts of the lifecycle in-house. This can allow a legal department to outsource the review of high volume, repeatable categories of contracts - for example, NDAs or sales agreements.
If you’re finding it hard to keep track of your IP, then you might need Intellectual Property Management. These ALSPs assist in managing the lifecycle of your intellectual property including building your portfolio, threat assessment and valuation.