Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner recently launched a legal operations consultancy division to address the “last mile problem” for corporate legal departments.
The division officially launched Sept. 27 but has been 20 years in the making. The new division, dubbed Cantilever, combines the work of legacy firms Bryan Cave and Berwin Leighton Paisner to offer legal departments outside help in both business and technology in addition to the firm’s core function of providing legal services.
The last-mile problem comes from the idea that law departments can easily get great legal advice, but they often struggle putting it into practice in their business. Meanwhile, in-house legal departments are more frequently seen as strategic partners of a business, and general counsel are having to demonstrate how the legal department is positively contributing to revenue. For example, a legal department might be expected to improve upon their internal processes and technology so contracts can get negotiated faster.
Kathryn DeBord, global Chief Innovation Officer at BCLP, said she has seen clients struggle in having to connect their activities to revenue growth in the business. Bryan Cave had been working to identify ways to solve clients’ problems in that area since the late 1990s, DeBord said. The firm sought to address those problems for their clients in launching dedicated teams focused on technology as well as economics. Bryan Cave’s previous efforts were branded under the name BCXponent, which the firm launched in 2016 and that went on to become a core part of the recently launched Cantilever.