Self Insureds and the Panel Counsel Program in 2016
If you are a Defense Firm working with self insureds and their TPA ‘s you already know this can be a steady and lucrative stream of good business. The usual requirement to get into this club besides having the initial relationship that got your firm the “intro” includes your practice disciplines, staff size, geographic coverage, references, and most importantly……results. Once you are “in the club” you want to make sure you stay in and your firm is always working to improve your position within “the club.”
What you might not know or realize are the changes that are currently taking place in this process and how it may have an adverse effect on your future business. The procurement/purchasing departments in many of these firms is gaining traction and influence in the corporate purchasing of legal services. This is a trend I actually experienced in the drug development marketplace in the mid 90’s – when “lay” purchasing people actually took over scientific staffing role from Ph. D scientists. It appears that the same sort of coup d’etat may be taking place 20 years later in the legal services industry. What that can mean to you is pitching or justifying your firm’s performance to a less sophisticated user who most likely will be measuring your results with metrics that don’t really relate to the actual results your firm has obtained. “Their” metrics will replace actual subjectivity as a benchmark.
Corporate Risk Managers are gaining traction when it comes to panel oversight and furthering the trend where more business professionals in lieu of attorneys are becoming involved in the purchase of legal services. All this change does to you is make it harder to identify who is in fact in charge of hiring? This is another area where we can assist you by augmenting your staff in the process.